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Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Q&A: Mizuho Americas

Mizuho Americas won the Instinet Positive Change Award for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at the 2021 Markets Choice Awards.

Markets Media caught up with Shuji Matsuura, CEO and Chairman, Mizuho Americas, and Jerry Rizzieri, President & CEO of Mizuho Securities USA, to learn more.

What is your reaction to Mizuho winning the Instinet Positive Change Award for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging?

 Shuji Matsuura

Shuji Matsuura: As the incoming CEO and Chairman of Mizuho Americas, I knew a lot about the great work the firm was doing and the role of culture in its success. When I heard the news, it reaffirmed my confidence that I was coming to lead a team that realizes the value of empathy and the need to welcome a diversity of ideas.

Jerry Rizzieri: We weren’t looking for an award, but we are so proud that our work on diversity and inclusion is making a notable impression, especially at such an historic time when standing in solidarity with one another is more critical than ever.

Briefly describe how/why Mizuho increased its emphasis on Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging over the years? 

SM: As a Japan-based firm whose decades-long presence in the US has always had an expat population, diversity is at the core of our culture. And as our firm has grown, so has our work to formalize diversity and inclusion programs and expand employee efforts to promote awareness, empathy, and advancement.

What specific metrics/milestones would you highlight? What are current initiatives?

 Jerry Rizzieri

JR: In the past five years we have introduced five employee resource groups, hired Ron Taylor as Head of Diversity and Inclusion to advance equity across the firm, and fully engaged senior management in our efforts. We also started Diversity Dialogues at the department and division levels. Led by management, they are a series of conversations centered on the idea of creating awareness, empathy and support for under-represented employees.

How does Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging make good business sense?

SM: Attracting, retaining, and nurturing a culture of diverse life experiences and viewpoints enables us to find new avenues of innovation that differentiates us and our services, moving the business forward.

What does the future hold for Mizuho in terms of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging?

JR: I often tell our employees that I want Mizuho to be a great place to work.  That means having the right commitment, strategy, and, of course, culture.  A true culture of diversity and inclusion retains and attracts the best employees – which in turn strengthens and builds on our business momentum business. D&I is good for business.

SM: Endless innovation and progress. I hope that we will look back in the years ahead and be surprised by the new ways we have found to advance equity, and that we can point to the clear benefits of a society that leverages and appreciates diversity.