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Nikko AM celebrates International Women’s Day 2023


Nikko AM embraces equity and shares how we do it this International Women’s Day. Hear from our President, Executive Chairman and colleagues across the globe on how we are celebrating and supporting women in our local communities.

Embracing equity means we recognise everyone is unique.

- Stefanie Drews


Q1. At Nikko AM, what does it mean to embrace equity?

Embracing equity means we recognise everyone is unique, with different talents and different backgrounds, hence require different support to reach and expand their potential. The diversity of our talent is the lifeblood of our innovation. Therefore it is in the best interests of our clients and our own well-being as individuals and as a global firm that we respect this diversity, and make proactive and consistent efforts so that all employees can be themselves and thrive in a rewarding career, regardless of gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, abilities and background.

Beyond women’s holistic career progress, we must encourage greater diversity of talent across functions, such as more women in fund management, trading, and technology as these are often male-skewed.

Q2. What do we need to do to get there?

Global HR has already rolled out initiatives to attract and support female talent. We have been intentional in hiring, developing, and promoting women, providing flexible workstyles and mentorship programmes that support both male and female colleagues. Compulsory unconscious bias training also helps to people realise, confront and overcome any inherent biases, and supports efforts to make positive changes in society.

We must remain committed to focusing on the hard stuff such as cultural barriers, pay parity between men and women, and changing our firm policies. There is strength in numbers, and we must cooperate with and lobby other industry stakeholders and governments when needed.

Embracing equity is an ongoing journey, and there is always room for improvement.

Q3. Do you have a message for male leaders?

It is not only about having more female leaders, though a visible target is powerful. It is how we co-create a diverse leadership team for sustainable success. I hope that male leaders will embrace equity and share this vision with the next generation. When male leaders support female progression, we are all better off!

I would like heads of each function to be focused on developing female leaders.

- Yutaka Nishida

Executive Chairman

Q1. What do you think of our firm-wide progress towards our target to have at least 30% of our managerial roles held by women by 2030?

Since we set the target in 2020, we have made some progress by raising the ratio from 18 to 20%. It is not easy and will not happen overnight. Besides many HR initiatives to hire, promote and support women, we also have internal programmes such as skills training, seminars with external speakers, mentoring and women’s group discussions on career development called “career cafes”. I think we have a vibrant and varied suite of internal programmes. 30 by 2030 is an interim goal, we have to keep improving.

Q2. In Japan, what are some practical challenges in reaching this goal?

Some of the challenges in Japan in general, are that a portion of male leaders may not be so proactive in supporting women, and there is a lack of a supportive environment for women with young children.

However at Nikko AM, we are global in our approach. Senior management is very committed to this goal, and I would like heads of each function to be focused on developing female leaders.

Q3. Do you have a message for our female colleagues?

We are here to help you progress. Please discuss your ambitions and development needs with your supervisor. We encourage open communication, and believe progress is not only for women but all employees.

That being said, we recognise women have unique challenges to step forward, and will help you to overcome any roadblocks so that you can have a fulfilling career with us.

How is your region celebrating International Women's Day?

The Asia Women’s Group is united in our passion to support women’s growth journey within the company and support disadvantaged women in our community. This year, we are starting an internal mentorship programme to help female colleagues who are in the early phase of their career.

Also recognising that our industry tends to be male dominated, we are planning for an interactive Unconscious Bias training for all colleagues. This aims to help current and future leaders to be aware of invisible barriers, and to build an ecosystem that embraces equity.

- Samantha Yeo

Lead, Enterprise Transformation, Singapore

At Nikko AM, we are guided by a strong focus on our values and this has helped us to direct resources with intentionality to make impact. What we see as equity today, is the result of stacking small right actions over time. We are proud that 40% of our leaders in Asia are women, well diversified across functions and that we are nurturing a base of young leaders.

- Eleanor Seet

President & Head of Asia ex-Japan, Singapore

On International Women's Day, my wish is for everyone to be able to live each day with pride. It would be wonderful if the Japan Women's Group could help to advocate an environment where individuality is respected and close the Gender Gap!

- Satomi Yano

Group Manager, Asset Management Promotion Dept, Tokyo (Japan)

New Zealand women’s group believes that we can do our part to make the world more equitable by helping women in distress to achieve economic stability and safety. 

For International Women’s Day, we’re hosting a “Dress for Success” morning tea, where all employees are invited to donate items of corporate clothing. “Dress for Success” is a charity that helps woman who cannot afford to purchase corporate clothing for their first interview and first few months in the workplace. Their aim is to empower woman to become financially independent. In addition, we are donating to the New Zealand Women’s Refuge charity by gifting 15 safe nights for woman and children trying to escape from domestic abuse.

- Sharon Evans

Marketing Head, Auckland (NZ)

The women’s group in the New York office is passionate about helping women within Nikko AM and supporting disadvantaged women in the community. The group plans on setting up workshops to help women create healthy, fulfilling, and successful careers.

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate by volunteering with a local nonprofit that helps families, especially pregnant women and new mothers meet their basic needs.

- Katelyn Hedden

Executive Assistant , New York (US)

Why are you passionate about joining International Women's Group?

Japanese society, now more than ever, needs the contribution that women can make – as workers and as leaders, too.

Throughout my 32-year career in Japan, it has been my privilege to work with exceptionally talented women at all levels of the organization and I continue to do so at NikkoAM. Our company is well-represented with strong and capable female leaders, but there is still much more to do. I’m involved because I’m passionate about creating a workplace where everyone can contribute their very best and be their genuine, authentic selves.

- John Honeyman

Group Head, Innovation Lab, Tokyo (Japan)

We want to be part of a society where everyone can shine as they are, regardless of their gender! 

I am proud to join the efforts of Japan Women’s Group in helping the firm to transform our culture through education and open sharing of our challenges, and finding solutions together.

- Masayoshi Sato

Head of General Affairs Department, Japan

This year, London and Edinburgh offices are celebrating International Women’s Day through a boxing session for women! This is followed by a motivational talk at our London offices by the founder of Bermondesy Boxing Club, Manya Klempner. Her inspirational story was featured recently in the Financial Times. Members from EMEA women’s group are driven by a conviction to level and broaden the path for more women to join the financial industry. The women’s boxing initiative is an extension to our continued support for Future Asset, a UK-based charity that encourages young women to pursue a career in Asset Management.

- Cameron Kuwahara

Global Equity Team, Edinburgh
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