In mid-December, following an invitation from the Government of Japan, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye attended the World Assembly for Women (WAW!) in Tokyo. WAW! invites leaders from various countries to discuss women's issues, and is part of an effort "to achieve 'A Society where Women Shine' . . . one of the priority issues of the Abe Administration."
In addition to attending the public symposium on December 13, Irene was part of a high-level round table on December 14, themed "Work-Life Management 2.0." She spoke about the benefits of volunteering, as well as the importance of people-to-people relations, as evidenced by successful USJC and TOMODACHI programs like the TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program and the Regional Women in Leadership networking sessions, funded by the Embassy of Japan. The panel gave concrete actionable steps for improvement, such as implementing flexible working hours and having a strong network of role models, mentors and supporters. Megumi Ishimoto, who leads the NPO Women's Eye and was part of the 2013 TOMODACHI NGO Leadership Program supported by J.P. Morgan, spoke on a different panel about innovations led by women.
Addressing the audience at the high-level round table
For more information on the discussions on December 14, click here (in Japanese). For more information on the public symposium on December 13, which included speakers like Marne Levine, COO, Instagram; Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman, Keidanren; Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo; and Phumzile Mlanmbo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women (as well as a video message from Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar), click here (in Japanese).
With Katsunobu Kato, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment, and Kathy Matsui, Chair of the USJC(J) Board of Councilors, who also spoke at WAW!