An analysis of interviews and secondary data from Japanese companies yielded the following insights:
1. Japanese firms display three general diversity motives: a) diversity as a way of gaining more workers, b) diversity as a means to increase global competitiveness, c) diversity for the sake of equality. Most companies are in the first or second group, only a very few are in the last group. One danger this raises is that if the results of diversity are not clearly evident (for example in the form of innovation or performance), then companies in the first two groups may be less inclined to promote diversity.
2. Japanese companies' diversity strategies have evolved. Initially, many of the strategies were aimed at making it easier for women to avoid work requirements. Such policies, however, effectively made it difficult for women to gain higher positions. More recently, company policies have become more pro-work, i.e. they make it easier for women to engage in work at an equal level with men. Such policies are more likely to lead to promotion and also change the organization's working culture.
3. Japanese firms struggle to retain foreign workers because of cultural differences. While many companies want to employ foreigners to leverage their different experiences and languages, they also want the foreigners to adapt. This has the drawback that those foreigners who are truly different often leave, while those that can adapt end up staying. This latter group, however, often "goes local" resulting in the benefits of the foreigner's international experience being lost.