Women in Leadership: Breaking Glass Ceilings

September 07, 2017 at 2pm - 3:30pm
Japan Information and Cultural Center

On September 7, USJC hosted a panel discussion at the Japan Information & Culture Center in Washington, DC called "Women in Leadership: Breaking Glass Ceilings." This was part of the Regional Women in Leadership (RWL) series, in which USJC members organize and attend events in their respective regions, with generous funding from the Embassy of Japan.

More than 80 people gathered to hear the three distinguished speakers from diverse backgrounds: Ms. Hiroko Inaoka, Counselor to the Executive Director for Croatia, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC; Ms. Marcia Ogawa Matsubayashi, Senior Partner and Leader of Telecom, Technology and Media Industry at Deloitte Brazil; and Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare and Director of Naval Intelligence for the U.S. Navy. (Click here to see the speakers' full biographies.)

Minister Shimada (right) addresses the audience as Ms. Matsubayashi (left) and Mr. Mori (center) look on

USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye and Minister Takehiro Shimada, Minister for Communications and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan, gave opening remarks. DC Regional Chair Edson Mori ​moderated the discussion, and Associate and ELP ’15 Rei Tsuchiya emceed the event.

What was unique about this discussion was having the perspective of a third country, Brazil. When asked about trends in the U.S. or Brazil that Japan can learn from, Ms. Matsubayashi said that it is difficult for minority women to be visible in Brazil, but that she tries to be present and expose herself. VADM Tighe said that the Navy is encouraging women in STEM fields to join the military. While change takes time with the military’s "bottom up" approach of fostering talent (she graduated with the fifth class of the U.S. Naval Academy that included women), they are trying to increase women naval officers.

In terms of changes Japan can make on its own, Ms. Inaoka, who is seconded to IDB from the Japanese Ministry of Finance, said that Japan needs a more flexible and diverse working style. An American colleague had once noted that even though Japanese people are known for punctuality, they are irresponsible about the end of their working hours. Due to concerns of an inflexible schedule and how busy they might become, some women are reluctant to be promoted.

Ms. Inaoka (left) and VADM Tighe (right) share their insights

As part of the Q&A, Minister Shimada, who has two daughters, asked for advice for young women. Ms. Matsubayashi said that young women can think about how their work improves society (that is possible in many fields, like technology or law), which in turn will make their work more fulfilling. VADM Tighe said that there are also many opportunities for service, like military and public service, and that it's important to find something they are passionate about. In terms of excelling in the workplace, the speakers recommended: expose yourself; continue working and never give up; and partner with people who can supplement your weaknesses.

We thank the speakers, the Embassy of Japan, Mr. Mori and DC Regional Vice Chair David Boone for organizing this event!

VADM Tighe conversing with guests

Click here to see more photos.

This event was part of the Regional Women in Leadership series


Ms. Hiroko Inaoka is Counselor to the Executive Director for Croatia, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the IDB, Ms. Inaoka was Deputy Director at the Office of Development Finance in the International Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Finance, where she was responsible for Japanese bilateral financial cooperation including Yen loans to developing countries. At the Japanese Ministry of Finance, she was in charge of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She was also Economist of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in the International Monetary Fund. During her service to the Japanese Ministry of Finance, she devoted herself to work in rural part of Bangladesh for 2 years joining the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV). She has a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo Japan.

Ms. Marcia Ogawa Matsubayashi is Senior Partner and Leader of Telecom, Technology and Media Industry at Deloitte Brazil. She has more than 30 years of consulting experience in Strategy and Technology. She advises large corporations on the impact of new technologies and regulatory changes to their business strategies. She specializes in the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and regulatory themes of emerging technologies, and is a key advisor to the Brazilian Government and regulatory agencies. Marcia also leads the Digital Transformation Practice at Deloitte Brazil, and is responsible for creating innovative solutions and promoting transformation through IoT, Analytics and Big Data. She also supports the Japanese Services Group at Deloitte Brazil, helping Japanese companies succeed in the country. She supports the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Brazil to enhance Japan's relationship with Brazilian Government entities, especially in the technology sector. She is a visiting professor at the Engineering School of Sao Paulo University. She takes part in the Innovation board and the Women's Development Program at Deloitte Brazil. She holds a degree in Electronic Engineering from the Engineering School of Sao Paulo University and an MBA at Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Vice Admiral Jan Tighe is the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare/Director of Naval Intelligence for the U.S. Navy. VADM Tighe was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and raised in Plantation, Florida. VADM Tighe is a 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as a cryptologist. She studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 2001 with a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics. As a flag officer, VADM Tighe served as Commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command; Commander of U.S. 10th Fleet; U.S. Cyber Command Deputy J3; Director of Decision Superiority in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (OPNAV N2N6); Interim President of the Naval Postgraduate School; and Deputy Commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. In July 2016, she assumed her current position. VADM Tighe wears both the Information Warfare pin and Naval Aviation Observer wings, earned while deployed as an Airborne Special Evaluator aboard VQ-1 EP-3E aircraft in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Moderator and Presenter: 

Rear Admiral (retired) David Boone (moderator) is USJC DC Regional Vice Chair and President of APTIM Federal Services. He joined the CB&I team in December 2013 following a 30-year career in the U.S. Navy. RADM Boone retired as a Navy Civil Engineer Corps Rear Admiral in 2013. Mr. Boone was raised in Yokohama, Japan, and graduated with honors from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Civil Engineering and received Master’s degrees in Coastal Engineering and Construction Management from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a registered professional engineer in Virginia and Florida. He also received the Nippon Gen Gokkai Award from the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan.

Edson Mori (presenter) is USJC DC Regional Chair and Executive Secretary Sanctions Committee at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Prior to this position, Mr. Mori was appointed as Internal Member of the Sanctions Committee, served as Team Task Leader of several structured and corporate finance transactions in the manufacturing and financial institutions sectors in the Latin America region and was Senior Management Advisor in the IDB’s Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations Department. Mr. Mori was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, attended the doctoral program in finance at Keio University in Japan as a Mombusho scholar, graduated with an MBA from the University of California Los Angeles, and received degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Engineering School of São Paulo University and Business Administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. He received a scholarship from Saga prefecture (Kenpikenshuin) for a training program at Saga Prefecture Research Institute.