A businessman and member of the LGBTQ+ community shake hands over a background with the colors of the transgender pride flag for allyship in the workplace

Influencer Marketing

Expand your reach and engage with your target audience using this trending technique that blends celebrity endorsements with social media marketing.

Leading High Performing Remote Teams

How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?

Design Thinking

Learn the 5 phases of this problem-solving methodology and switch from technology-centered to user-centered thinking.


Learn what reciprocity is and how it can motivate people and boost sales.

Gantt Chart

Invented in the early 20th century, the Gantt Chart is one of the building blocks of modern project management. In this online course, you'll learn how this tool can be used effectively to monitor progress and achieve your team's goals.

Navigating Change Successfully

The working landscape is continually shifting and being disrupted, so how to employees maintain a sense of stability? Listen to CEO and president of Carl ZEISS Japan Stefan Sacre share his expertise on dealing with change in organizations and entire industries.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is often leveraged for marketing and promotion. But as a type of cognitive bias, it can also have a subconscious impact on decision-making in the workplace. Learn why and (how to overcome it) in this online course.

Anchoring and Framing

Want to increase your confidence during negotiations? Master the principles of anchoring and framing to take your negotiation skills to the next level.


Understanding ZOPA and BATNA will help you become a better negotiator, create more value, and feel more confident at the table.

Content Marketing

In this course, you’ll learn how compelling blogs, videos, podcasts, and other media can reach customers and drive sales. You’ll also learn steps for creating an effective content marketing plan, and some important ways to measure its impact and success.

Content marketing is a essential digital marketing strategy for companies looking to provide relevant and useful information to support your community and attract new customers.

Get started on your content marketing journey today.

Sustainable Innovation in Times of Disruption: Choices for a Better Society

There are opportunities for progress all around us. The key is to innovate on these opportunities sustainably.

To help identify most effective path forward, you'll need to gain a global perspective to these challenges in an open discussion. How can Japan and the world take action to create a more sustainable, innovative world? Where do you fit in?

It's time to find out.

Social Media & Digital Communications: Impact on Global Public Opinion

Social and digital media have dominated the communications industry for decades. But it's no secret that social media has the power to sway public opinion, and the way in which many companies use these platforms could be seen as manipulative.

What do companies need to be aware of when utilizing social and digital media? How can these mediums be used to better communicate strategically with the world?

Discover what top media and communications experts have to say.


Blockchain is one of the most captivating technologies out there. Learn what it is and how to make use of its opportunities in this short online course.

Mehrabian’s Rule

The 7-38-55 Rule, developed by Albert Mehrabian, suggests that effective communication relies less on the words we choose than on our tone of our voice, appearance, and body language. Learn how to put this theory to use for better communication in business.

Pareto Principle

Your time and resources are limited. Efficiency means learning to prioritize. The Pareto principle (also called the 80-20 rule) can help you identify the best way to use your time for maximum results.

Country Analysis Framework

Overseas expansion requires careful planning. The Country Analysis Framework can help you look beyond an industry-level analysis and reframe your view based on performance, strategy, and context. Try this short course to learn how it works.

SECI Model

The SECI model illustrates how knowledge is created and shared. Learn how to put it to use for best practices, and how the Japanese concept of “ba” fits in to broaden your perspective.

Johari Window Model

The Johari Window Model is a self-awareness framework that helps you better understand . . . you. Learn how its four quadrants can help you identify gaps between how you see yourself, and how others see you.

Sunk Costs

Wondering if you should continue an investment or look for something new? Sunk costs can have a powerful psychological impact on decision-making. Learn how to recognize them to ensure rational decisions.

CAGE Distance Framework

Want to expand overseas? The CAGE distance framework can help ensure you're constructing a solid global strategy in four areas: cultural, administrative, economic, and geographic. Learn how to leverage useful differences between countries, identify potential obstacles, and achieve global business success.


Groupthink refers to group pressure and the perception of consensus which together lead to ill-formed decisions—or even unnecessary risks. Learn to identify the warning signs of groupthink and apply countermeasures in this online course.

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Solving problems with the best results means using two types of thinking: deductive and inductive reasoning. In this online course, learn to form a broad premise, make observations, and form conclusions from different perspectives.

Critical Thinking: Hypothesis-Driven Thinking

Anyone can come up with a good idea. The real challenge is putting that idea into action. In this online course, explore how to form compelling, testable hypotheses and bring ideas to life in your own organization.

Critical Thinking: Structured Reasoning

Even a few simple techniques for logical decision making and persuasion can vastly improve your skills as a leader. Explore how critical thinking can help you evaluate complex business problems, reduce bias, and devise effective solutions.

Critical Thinking: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is a central business skill, and yet it's the one many people struggle with most. This course will show you how to apply critical thinking techniques to common business examples, avoid misunderstandings, and get at the root of any problem.

How to Dream

Join globally renowned author and Columbia Business School professor Dr. Sheena Iyengar as she explains how to approach your dreams with a new perspective. Learn to reflect on what you long to accomplish and what stands in your way.

Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is at the heart of confident, persuasive decisions. This course will equip you with a five-point approach to more becoming a more logical thinker. Learn to classify ideas and distinguish fact from opinion.

Investing & Diversity: The Changing Faces of Venture Capitalists

Is the venture capital industry embracing diversity in investors? Watch global venture capitalists from around the world discuss the state of things and what needs to be done for a more inclusive future.

Servant Leadership

There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Ever wonder what makes a great leader? Whether your role requires leadership or not, understanding organizational behavior is useful for your career. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can set you on your way.

Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are different skills, but today’s leaders must have both. Try out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to understand the difference, as well as when and why each skill is necessary for motivation, communication, and value.

Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company

Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.

Strategy: Understanding the External Environment

To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!

Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business

Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.

Turnaround Leadership: The Differences Between Japan and the West

What's the best way for leaders to communicate a shift in corporate strategy? How do you even know when it's time for such a change? This course explains how Japan might have one answer, Western companies another.

Conflict Management

Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. But they can lead to positive outcomes if they’re managed well. Check out this online course for a two-step process that can help you manage conflict successfully.

Evernote Founder: How Tech Startups Can Break through in Japan

Can startup models from Hollywood and Silicon Valley succeed anywhere? Phil Libin, cofounder and CEO of startup incubator All Turtles, explains how AI can solve everyday problems to bring products to market.

Women Empowerment: Lessons from Cartier

How can women overcome gender inequality and reach their leadership goals? Cartier Japan CEO June Miyachi shares her secret in this special course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Marketing: Reaching Your Target

Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.

Marketing Mix

Seeing good products into the hands of customers is no easy task. The marketing mix can help. It's a collection of strategies and tactics companies utilize to get customers to purchase their products or services, and is an essential part of the overall marketing process.

The Principles of Negotiation

With the proper skills and attitude, anyone can become a successful negotiator.  But first, you'll need to learn the basics to prepare for, assess, and respond to offers for the best results. GLOBIS Unlimited can help.

Negotiation: Creating Value

Want to create more shared value between yourself and your negotiation opponent? Discover how cognitive bias affects the judgment of others. Try this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to master the value of negotiation.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Ikigai

Ikigai can guide you in your quest for self-discovery. Listen to Japanese brain scientist Ken Mogi explain why and how.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Want to leverage Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a leader? Try this short course to see how the theory can be applied in practical work scenarios.

Confirmation Bias

We all subconsciously collect information that reinforces our preconceptions. It's natural . . . but it does lead to a kind of flawed decision-making called confirmation bias. To become more objective and impartial, check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

An Investor's Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have the power to transform societies for the better. But how do you attract investors to start or grow a business? Or to sell one? Check out this seminar for the answers to these and more, straight from a master venture capitalist!

Managerial Accounting

Managerial accounting is a powerful way to measure progress, identify problems, and meet your goals. Check out this course to learn how data-backed decisions can help you run your business.

Finance Basics: 1

For a healthy mix of quantitative planning, evaluation, and management, you need solid decision-making. And finance is the secret sauce! Get the essentials of finance in this two-part course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis

Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.

Career Anchors

What drives you to be good at your job?

Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.

Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!

Digital Marketing Psychology to Transform Your Business

How does digital marketing really differ from traditional marketing? How is social media changing things really? And what's going on in Asia?

Pyramid Structure

Having the pyramid structure in your communication toolkit can not only help you approach a problem, but convince others that your solution is valid. Break away from linear thinking and test your logical thinking with this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi

The key ingredient to success? Passion.

Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.

AI First Companies – Implementation and Impact

AI is changing the way companies operate. How do you structure teams to increase efficiency?

Technovate in the Era of Industry 4.0

Is Industry 4.0 is the next step of human evolution human civilization? Dr. Jorge Calvo seems to think so. Join him to learn how the past can help you set goals for an exciting future of digital innovation.

Technovate Thinking

Business leaders of tomorrow need to harness the power of technology and innovation. That means understanding algorithms and how they drive business results. Discover opportunities to make technology work for your competitive edge.

Product Life Cycle

Every product takes a natural course through the market—there's a how, when, and why customers adopt products at different stages. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to find out how a product you use every day is part of this cycle.

Logic Tree

Logical thinking is the most valuable asset any business professional can have. That's why logic trees are such a valuable tool—they can help you identify a problem, break it down, and build it back up to a solution.

MECE Principle

Using the MECE principle can help ensure you categorize without gaps or overlaps. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited for a practical demonstration of how it works!

When it comes to allyship in the workplace, there’s what companies say they’re doing, and then there’s reality. Many organizations have adopted the aesthetic of serving the LGBTQ+ community—what is commonly known as “rainbow capitalism.” It includes the pattern of progressive rebranding and cosmetic activism, but does little to support the LGBTQ+ community in practical ways.

I am a transgender nonbinary person, but I have many privileges in Japan as a white-passing foreigner from a developed country. As a native English speaker, I am guaranteed a comfortable (if tedious) job teaching English, should my other ventures fail.

But I have also experienced discrimination, including transphobic bullying, passive-aggressive comments, and sexual harassment in the workplace. I’ve been scolded by coworkers and classmates for using masculine-sounding Japanese. Day-to-day microaggressions, cringe humor, misgendering from coworkers, and apathy make health and happiness a fragile thing.

And again, I am one of the lucky ones.

On a positive note, we now seem to be entering an era where more people at different levels of influence have the common goal of making their modern workplaces more welcoming. But where to start with LGBTQ workplace equality? Both for well-intentioned allies and for queer people looking to introduce change, here are seven actions for how we can question, improve, and reframe company policy making to better support the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace.

Next Article

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As the global understanding of diversity as a business strategy continues to evolve, perhaps it’s time to redefine DEI as diversity, equity, and innovation.

How to Keep “Common Sense” from Ruining Diversity of Thought

Common sense isn’t common. Here are 4 steps to embrace diversity of thought for better leadership and teamwork.
Many-colored strips of paper overlaid and all reading "common sense" to show diversity of thought in unexpected places

Kan: An Authentic Role Model Taking on Psychological Safety

Psychological safety in Japan has a long road ahead. But public figures like Kan aim to change that by becoming relatable role models for the LGBTQ+ community.
Smiling image of Kan, a Japanese gay man striving to become a role model for psychological safety in Japan

7 Actions to Support the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Workplace

1) Set a goal.

It’s easy to feel paralyzed in the face of huge, lifelong social endeavors such as fighting systemic oppression. Don’t try to take on these behemoths all at once. Instead, break them down into attainable, measurable goals. This will facilitate progress and help you recognize milestones as you learn how to be a better ally in the workplace.

Whatever goals you set, collect and measure the data: employee turnover rates, lost motivation at work, retention, and responses to employee wellness surveys. Goals such as “higher trust between employees and employers” or “greater respect among teammates” can be applied to any company.

2) Don’t react—plan.

The time to reform policies for LGBTQ+ hires is now—or rather, yesterday.

As a trans/nonbinary person, I can attest that the situation is rarely a matter of “when the trans hires arrive.” The trans folk are already here—they just haven’t come out.

While in recent years I have become very open, I was closeted for most of my professional life. I was also far from alone: at my former job at an international company, I socialized with a number of gay and transgender coworkers who had either opted to stay in the closet or been subtly pressured by management to do so.

Really, the onus should be on the manager, HR team, or business leader to be proactive about making a workplace more inclusive—not pressuring the minority to fight for change.

It’s possible to use allyship as a diversity and inclusion tool in the workplace. Such a mindset is promoted by noted D&I consultant Lily Zheng, who suggests considering a fictional employee profile—someone who is marginalized both socially and physically. This employee could be transgender, a single mother, a person of color, a non-native speaker of English, and disabled in ways that make navigating an office difficult. She has myriad intersections to her identity and experience that would hinder her in most traditional workplaces.

To plan (rather than react) to such an employee, frame your policy reform around the question, “How could this employee thrive?” This will make it easier to craft a modern workplace that is supportive and accessible to all.

3) Think “universal inclusion,” not exceptions.

The curb-cut effect dictates that changes made to provide equity for one group end up benefitting the many. With that in mind, remember that any and all accommodations you make for LGBTQ+ employees can—and should—be applied universally.

Making overarching policy changes with nonconforming employees in mind, as Zheng suggests, sets clearer and fairer expectations for everyone and teaches them how to be an ally for diversity. These policies benefit trans and gender-nonconforming employees who are not out at work, empower cisgender employees who simply enjoy nontraditional gender expression (i.e., men with long hair), and build solidarity among employees. Moreover, transgender employees will not feel beholden to management for allowing exceptions, but instead maintain their dignity and sense of equality in the office.

One of my former jobs had traditional gendered dress codes which managers would enforce at their own discretion. This included a manager who infamously made the women/assigned-female-at-birth employees wear high heels. (This does not refer to former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto, though well it might.) Another manager scolded me for having a shaved head, and then told me he would permit my androgynous hair on the condition I bought nicer shoes.

Gender-free dress codes surpass merely aesthetic progressivism to impact queer employee’s mental health and safety—and avoid favoritism in the workplace. Similarly, providing universal spousal benefits, family plans, and housing subsidies for LGBTQ+ employees must be a priority for companies looking to provide equal rights.

Trans person with short, purple hair and rainbow earrings to promote allyship in the workplace
True allyship in the workplace supports visible and invisible diversity. | iStock/izusek

4) Involve everyone—even the uninterested.

One of the challenges with promoting diversity and inclusion in a workplace is that audiences tend to self-select. That is, people who already have an interest in social justice issues will participate enthusiastically, while others who are ignorant of or apathetic towards these initiatives will usually skip or even become polarized against them. That can result in lost motivation at work all around.

In the delicate balancing act of introducing diversity programs to an office, it is wise to take stock of which camp each employee falls into and to develop different programs accordingly. Not all employees who are uninterested in diversity and LGBTQ+ rights are opposed to these principles. Rather, they would benefit from communication and training to make these issues relatable and to promote common ground.

5) Establish a clear action plan for conflict.

There are inevitably going to be employees who do not accept diversity training, mock allyship in the workplace, and consistently disrespect their queer coworkers. There are words for that: harassment and workplace discrimination.

While proper training can bring conservative coworkers onboard, statistics and personal experience attest that some coworkers will openly resist widespread authenticity of self. Their actions must be seen not only as harmful to minority coworkers around them, but also as perpetuating the discrimination of wider society. Your HR department must have a contingency plan that prioritizes the marginalized party in these conflicts. Japanese law is particularly slow to institute suitable protections for the LGBTQ+ community, but an ethical company will implement policies that go above and beyond in protecting its workers.

No one should have to debate their human rights at work. No one should have to fend off attacks on their humanity while they earn their living.

6) Set high expectations for yourself.

Ultimately, whether you are an ally, a member of a particular marginalized group, or a newcomer to considering these structural power imbalances, you’re bound to make mistakes.

I have misgendered friends and family—I sometimes even misgender myself! In such situations, there is an easy course of action: accept accountability, apologize, and move forward. Mistakes made in good faith are not the end of the world, but they are an opportunity to grow and develop empathy.

Listen if corrected and read the room. If necessary, check with a coworker to see that you are treating them respectfully.

7) Hire a DEI consultant, and do more reading!

Investing in a professional DEI consultant to address lost motivation at work, promote purposeful work, and nurture authentic leadership characteristics through training and workshops is a worthy use of funds. Indeed, funds should be allocated to your diversity efforts, not merely for PR or to head off conflicts, but to proactively cultivate a healthier work environment for marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ community.

Ultimately, these seven points are a launch pad for further reading and research. A business leader and proactive ally will demonstrate commitment to these issues by building their insight and investing in books and other resources. The goal isn’t just to understand, but to improve company policy and implement intersectional theory.

These issues do not stop at the office lobby. They are carried through our daily lives and relationships. So do better than a rainbow logo for Pride Month. Read further, listen more closely, and learn more about the stories of the people around you.

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