Through mutual understanding of the values and mindset of different regions, we can accelerate globalization.
CSR Management Division
CSR Sustainability Division
Environmental Sustainability Team
Before joining ASICS, I worked in the Netherlands at a factory operated by a world-famous food manufacturer. My duties involved reducing the environmental impact of the factory, but I wanted to advance my career to a more strategic profession where I could practically implement CSR and sustainability.
ASICS was recruiting for such a position, so I made a career change and joined this company. Less than one year after starting work at ASICS headquarters in Japan, I was approached with an offer. I was told that I could play an active role at Japan headquarters and on the global stage, so my skills had been highly evaluated. I was very honored to get this offer to work in Japan for 2 years, and as I also think that a vital role is to take what I learn at headquarters back to the Netherlands, I was more than happy to accept the offer.
The company arranged for an agent to help me with all the procedures for moving that are so difficult if you don’t speak the language, such as finding an apartment, residential registration, and opening a bank account. This all went very smoothly, and I am very grateful to ASICS for the help they provided. So rather than feeling anxious about working in Japan, I was actually filled with great expectation about this opportunity.
At headquarters, I am working on sustainability for all aspects of the product life cycle. Moving to Japan moved me a step further than how I imagined my career development when I changed jobs, as I can have a positive impact on more regions and people than when I was working in the regional office in The Netherlands. This gives me great satisfaction. Also, while working at the global headquarters, I have seen firsthand the team play that exists as employees support each other when a problem arises.
I often felt that such team play is one of the great advantages and very typical of working for ASICS. Working together towards the collective goals seems more important in Japan than achieving the individual goals…this mindset is probably what is different from Europe and the United States, where there is more focus on the individual goals and perspective. It is very valuable to understand such differences, and after returning to the Netherlands, I look forward to providing a bridge of communication linking our two regions.
In addition to key language skills, mutual understanding of the values, culture and mindset of different regions in the world is essential for ASICS to become a truly global company. This is exactly the practical approach of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), bringing out the best a diverse range of professionals. The reason I have participated in the D&I team since being assigned to headquarters is that I want to make my own contribution to the globalization of ASICS. Even just for 2 years, I really want to have a positive impact on our employees’ attitudes and actions.