Following the research plan, during 2016 I focused on a) conducting interviews; b) gaining access to companies for case-studies; c) summarizing initial research findings. I conducted interviews at 6 Japanese companies, 3 foreign-owned firms in Japan, and 2 foreign firms outside Japan. I interviewed HR managers, senior executives, as well as regular staff. I also conducted interviews with experts, including consultants and diversity & inclusion professionals. I spoke with a total of 30 people, including men, women, Japanese and foreigners. Based on interviews and secondary material, I conducted case studies of four companies (two Japanese, two foreign), to compare their diversity and inclusion policies. Finally, I began writing reports and making presentations about my findings.
Overall, the project is progressing rather smoothly. I was pleased to be able to continue my interviews and also to be able to conduct the case studies. Based on my interviews I still need to collect some more secondary data, but this is also progressing as planned.
As detailed in the original submission, FY 2017 will primarily be devoted to data analysis, writing and presentation. I will also continue to do some data collection, specifically in the form of a survey to CEOs and HR managers about their diversity policies. I will continue to conduct interviews if and when I have the opportunity to do so, but this will not be my primary focus during the coming year.