Press Release

Member Survey: Diversity in the Workplace 2023


Diversity remains important for German companies

  • Recent survey confirms that diversity management is a key driver of performance improvements.
  • 70% of companies support activities to strengthen diversity within the company.
  • In 76% of companies, diversity is a topic that is discussed on a daily basis (+24% compared to 2022).
  • However, only 17% of companies have integrated diversity goals into their key performance indicators (KPIs) to date, and only 4% have appointed a dedicated diversity officers.
  • 21% of companies have parental leave arrangements that go beyond the legal requirements.

July 5, 2023 | Tokyo - Diversity is considered a key factor for the performance of companies. This year's survey of 315 member companies of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (AHK Japan) again shows that most companies actively support measures that help strengthen diversity in the workplace and increase the attractiveness of the employer for talent. On the other hand, companies that have integrated diversity goals into their performance evaluation or appointed a special diversity officer are still in the minority.

70% of the companies surveyed support activities to strengthen diversity in the company. Most activities are carried out for human resources considerations (77%) or with the aim of improving corporate performance (73%), as diversity is seen as a key factor. Corporate social responsibility (63%) also plays an important role. However, so far only a half of the companies (48%) use diversity as a topic for their branding and reputation management in Japan. Many do not use it for their PR activities.

"German companies in Japan are leaders in diversity management in the workplace. But they could use this even more in their PR and branding to position themselves even better as an attractive employer," said Marcus Schuermann, Chief Executive Officer of AHK Japan and Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Japan . "The question today is no longer whether a diverse workforce is important. Rather, the question is: How do I use diversity strategically in order to attract the best talent and improve my performance as a company?"

52% of companies (+6% points vs. 2022) pursue the goal of achieving a diverse workforce. In doing so, the companies often follow the guidelines of headquarters (52% vs. 38% in the previous year). Without question, companies could do more: 46% of companies (+6% points vs. 2022) do not offer diversity-specific training. Only for 21% does the topic play a role in the selection of business partners.

Companies that have made little commitment so far can learn a lot from the experience of the leading companies. The leading companies, for example, have established clear ESG policies and promote career development for women and actively recruit people from diverse ethnic groups. Others run social media campaigns and organize events with speakers focused on promoting diversity in their organizations. Some have also established a "diversity council" to discuss and advance diversity issues.

On the other hand, companies are aware that there is still a long way to go before diversity is embedded in corporate processes and KPIs. So far, only 23% of companies (-9% points vs. 2022) have included diversity as part of company-wide assessments, e.g., of their employee satisfaction. But only 17% of companies have actual diversity targets as part of their KPIs.

Despite its importance, diversity remains essentially a secondary task. 25% of companies (-6% points vs. 2022) have appointed a manager who deals with diversity issues in addition to many other tasks. Only 4% of companies have hired a specific person whose task focuses mainly on diversity issues. 

The current online survey of AHK Japan ran from May 12-26, 2023, with 25% of 315 companies surveyed participating. Two-thirds of the companies are small and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 100 employees.

The full results of this survey are available for download here:

Survey results (PDF)

Press Contact

Yuko Makita
German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (AHK Japan)
+81 (0)3 5276 8741