Telling the truth about SME life today

Executive Julie Hamp’s drug arrest poses a threat to Toyota’s diversity push

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

In order to create a more diverse workforce, Toyota appointed a foreign vice-president and promoted a woman into its top ranks both are firsts for the Japanese firm in its nearly 80-year history.

However, the carmaker announced the resignation of its first senior western female executive following her arrest in Japan on June 18.

Julie Hamp, the companys chief communications officer, was detained on suspicion of illegallyimporting a prescription drugfrom the US. The case currently centres on Hamp’s misunderstanding of Japan’s rules. Even with a prescription, it’s illegal to bring many drugs into Japan from the US.

A package sent to her, labelled as “necklaces” and containing 57Oxycodonepills a painkiller which requires prescription in both the US and Japan had been intervened at Narita airport, suggested Automotive News.

Japan will suffer from this,” said Jeff Kingston, professor of Asian Studies at Temple Universitys Japan Campus in Tokyo. Hamps treatment by the police and local media sends a chilling message to other foreign managers who might be considering a posting to Japan .

Read more about the latest arrests:

Toyota announced that she notified the company of her intent to resign. Having previously expressed support for Hamp, the company said it accepted her resignation in view of the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders .

Crisis management experts said Hamps resignation was inevitable regardless of the outcome of the police investigation, considering the reputational damage.

The PR division is a place to promote compliance,” said Tatsumi Tanaka, CEO of Risk Hedge. “The fact that the suspicion of illegally importing a restricted drug was held is in itself a problem.

Tanaka claimed that Toyota needed to teach its executives about cultural practices and laws when assigning them to foreign territories.

It also deals a setback to prime minister Shinzo Abe, who has made empowering women a priority to help modernise the nations economy including calling on Japan to have women in 30 per cent of leadership roles by 2020.

There were eight per cent of women in such roles in 2014, compared with 21per cent of senior roles in the FTSE 100 alone.

Toyota has said it remains committed to its diversity push, repeating a pledge by CEO Akio Toyoda to appoint people regardless of nationality, gender or age.

Trending

Topic

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Related Stories

More From

Trending

If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!