A Regional Women in Leadership series luncheon held in Washington, DC in December, 2016
USJC continues to focus on women's leadership. Several events and programs focus on creating opportunities for active discourse and stronger networks, inspiring women and men of all generations.
The Regional Women in Leadership series is a program generously supported by the Embassy of Japan. USJC members organize and attend panels, events and luncheons in their respective regions to network and discuss topics focused on women's leadership, including women entrepreneurs, leadership among millennial women, working with disabilities, challenging biases, balancing careers and families, and the importance of strong mentorships.
During the 2016 Annual Conference, breakout sessions examined women's leadership from two different angles. In "Women's Advancing Leadership in the Workplace and the World," corporate leaders discussed innovative ideas on advancing women's impact in the workplace. In "New Paths for Nikkei Women: Elective Politics," Japanese American women in a variety of elected offices, from schools boards to state governments, shared how they overcame cultural norms and gender stereotypes to engage in politics.
In October, Irene Hirano Inouye (along with Council Leaders Mari Kuraishi and Yumi Kuwana) spoke at the Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative (JWLI) Summit, which fosters women leaders interested in nonprofit management. JWLI was founded by USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish and is supported by USJC. In December, at the invitation of Prime Minister Abe, Irene Hirano Inouye spoke at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, where she was part of a high-level round table themed “Work-Life Management 2.0.”
Through the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima, which is supported by Lawson and FamilyMart Co., Ltd., about 120 high school girls from Fukushima participated in dance workshops, met exchange students and learned from mentors with global careers.
The TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) is a 10-month mentorship program that encourages networking among Japanese university students and mid-career professional women. In the 2015-2016 year, a total of 92 mentors and mentees were selected from Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha, and participated in five leadership sessions.
In April 2016 as a part of the program, mentees from Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha were invited to visit Washington, DC and New York City to meet with business leaders, government officials, and nonprofit leaders.