Olympus Appointed Wenlei Yang as the Newly Established Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDO)

March 2024

Focus Area 4: Healthy Organization

Wenlei Yang, CDO explained the specific initiatives and future plans.

Wenlei Yang

Olympus Corporation
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Q. Can you explain the mission and roles of the CDO?

Following Olympus’ new direction announced in our refined company strategy in May, 2023, I was named CDO. In this newly established role, I am overseeing and pushing implementation of important initiatives and activities together with our global DEI team as priority of this year.
In our journey of achieving Our Purpose of "Making people's lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling,” DEI is an indispensable piece of strategy to ensure that we can increase organizational capability and sustainability ensuring that we will be chosen by employees, customers and all stakeholders.
Through our close collaboration with each region, we continuously work to build an inclusive culture and equitable systems, where everyone, including the communities we serve, are accepted for who they are, with equal access to opportunities. We believe only when DEI becomes integrated into our daily work, will people be their true self, release their full potential, and perform at their best.
Our people with their diverse backgrounds will better understand our customers’ varied needs and expectations, thereby creating new value by exchanging their opinions, and developing solutions together to ultimately contribute to Our Purpose.

Q. What specific initiatives are you implementing under DEI strategy?

Before we launch DEI global strategy, we conducted extensive research on external trends, public requirements, peers’ activities and the company's current state and needs regarding DEI.
In addition to ongoing regional priorities, we summarized our four globally relevant themes as we launched in the strategy.

Gender and Life Priority

Nationality and Culture

Career and Experience

Inclusive Environment

We then started numbers of pilot initiatives across these themes in different regions and functions. For example: In Japan, we are proactively moving ahead of government guidelines by improving support for men’s parental leave. Simultaneously, enhancing the system to provide adequate resources for remaining team members during the leave period, reducing workload and increasing productivity. We created guidebook to structure information that needed to support leavers be better prepared for leave period. (all 3 items will launch in Apr. 24)
In addition, a peer learning pilot program connected 66 participants across regions, breaking down language and cultural / career barriers and creating collaborative opportunities. The feedback was so positive that we are expediting the expansion of the program.
Hundreds of global, regional, and key function leaders underwent comprehensive training to deepen their understanding, counteract bias and create psychologically safe environments. Afterwards, there are post-workshop activities to embed the learnings.
Furthermore, we are raising awareness globally through our “ABCs of DEI” micro learning campaign, where we share a DEI-related concepts starting from A all the way to Z.
These initiatives are just a snapshot of our progress since the launch of our strategy several months ago. I look forward to reporting more positive news in the near future.


Q. What are your mid-term initiatives to realize a Healthy Organization?

I joined Olympus in 1992 and held various roles mainly in global sales and marketing positions across China, Hong Kong and Japan. I was then appointed Regional Representative Officer, China in 2019. In 2023, I was appointed Regional Representative Officer, Japan.
Throughout various positions, I have worked with many colleagues across all regions and businesses. With many employees and over 100 years of company history, fostering a culture of DEI may not be an easy task at Olympus.
Our efforts focus on building up the foundation in the first year, including creating awareness, piloting initiatives to address urgent needs, etc. . In longer term, we will review the company processes and policies through DEI lens; incorporate DEI learning as part of regular training program, continuously raising awareness especially encourage leadership role modeling, but at the same time to support more bottom up activities like active Employee Resource Groups both regionally and globally.
We will drive our culture change by leveraging mindset, while at the same time addressing our systems and structures following a long-term, phased approach.

Q. In closing, do you have any thoughts that you would like to share with stakeholders?

At Olympus, we are committed to delivering Olympus’ Purpose by creating a working culture where everyone is empowered to perform their best. We are convinced that we can only achieve this when DEI become part of our daily work.
We promote a Healthy Organization by accelerating our efforts to realize DEI, which will lead to our sustainable growth and contribution to the society.

DEI-Related KPIs

  1. Achieve 30% representation of women in management roles globally byFY2028 (including doubling the rate of women managers at Olympus Corporation to 13%)
  2. Have 100% of eligible men at Olympus Corporation take parental leave by FY2026
  3. Increase the diversity of nationality and cultural at the Olympus Group and further improve employee engagement scores

Related Information

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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