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AGOS Japan - Diversity? What's that?


3 Dec 2018
I was approached by AGOS Japan in April of this year (2021) to work as a (very) part time instructor for their study abroad students. A position I've had before. I suppose I was contacted due to my previous experience with study abroad students, my over 20 years of teaching English in Japan, my Masters in Linguistics, and a number of presentations and essays regarding ESL, on-line. I may have also been contacted because of my diverse ethnic background.
I was interviewed by John Grant, a fellow Canadian. But, was summarily rejected.
On May 31, I sent a follow-up email:

Of course, I understand your position.

Just one thing; not sure it will much difference to your decision makers over there.

Before our interview I checked out your organization online. On your website, there are no instructors of colour. And, very few women. It's like your company has never heard of diversity or inclusion.

I'm sure the universities you're sending your students to will have much more diverse teaching staffs, student bodies and be immersed in diverse cultural settings. It would seem logical that your in-house teaching staff be representative of this reality in order to fully prepare your students for their experiences abroad.


John responded:


to me
Thank you for your message. You make a good point about our website but
I think our website does not show the diversity of our counseling
department and part-time teaching staff. I will ask our IT department
what we can do to rectify this.

Best of luck in your future,


"Ask our IT department what we can do to rectify this"?
What does this mean? He intends to ask the IT department to Photoshop some stock photos of people of colour into their website? Or, there is a diverse counselling and part-time teaching staff, but they're just not featured on the website? Why would AGOS Japan want to hide such images? Are the images of counselling staff and part-time instructors just not routinely put up on their website? If this is the case, the logical question is – why are there no people of colour working as full-time counsellors, advisors or instructors at AGOS Japan? It would appear that AGOS Japan is more concerned with appearing diverse and inclusive than actually being so.

To be clear, there are a number of English teaching companies in Japan that, for whatever reason, will not hire people of colour regardless of qualification. There are also a number of other businesses in Japan that won't hire individuals of mixed Japanese ethnicity regardless of the fact that they were born in Japan, understand the culture and speak the language fluently. Obviously, these companies haven't gotten the memo that we're now living in a post-racial world. Or, are we?

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Or, there is a diverse counselling and part-time teaching staff, but they're just not featured on the website?
This seems to be his claim. As to why they aren't there, who knows? Could be normal every day bias at work.
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