Proposal for Unconscious Bias Training Utilizing Virtual Reality
Toward Accelerating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Executive Summary

Currently, various organizations, including businesses, government bodies, and educational institutions, are actively pursuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. DE&I promotion encompasses various critical issues in Japan, such as addressing gender disparities, fostering innovation, environments where individuals can work authentically, and overall well-being.

However, the latest results from 2023 for Japan on the Global Gender Gap Index, which is published annually by the World Economic Forum, are concerning; Japan ranked 125th out of 146 countries, placing it at the bottom among the seven advanced countries and marking its lowest position to date. Additionally, in the United Nations World Happiness Report for 2022, Japan ranked 54th on the World Happiness Index, again placing it at the bottom of advanced nations. Therefore, accelerating DE&I efforts is an urgent priority for the country.

One of the biggest obstacles to DE&I is unconscious bias. Since everyone has an unconscious bias, this bias is ubiquitous and affects organizations in various ways, including their workplace human resource- and relations-related decision-making. In recent years, an increasing number of organizations have adopted training programs to overcome unconscious bias, albeit these programs remain at the exploratory stage. As aforementioned, there is much public interest in more effective approaches.

Generally, organizations should take a systematic approach to effectively address unconscious bias across the whole of the organization. This includes optimizing training methodologies to maximize their impact and utilizing data-based approaches for assessment and application of these training programs. Accordingly, this proposal aims to accelerate DE&I efforts in the Japanese government, businesses, and organizations by recommending their engagement in strategic DE&I initiatives, data-driven visualization and monitoring, and proactive unconscious bias training using virtual reality (VR).

The full report can be downloaded below.