Women's Leadership Discussion in Portsmouth

September 19, 2017 at 12pm - 2pm

On September 19, Council Leader Sawako Gardner organized a discussion among women leaders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 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.

Judge Gardner, who is the presiding judge of the 10th Circuit Court, Portsmouth District Court, led the discussion among ten women, many of whom gathered from out of town to share their perspectives on women's leadership. Ms. Ikuko Michii, wife of the Consul General of Japan in Boston, and Ms. Aiko Inoue, Consul for Political Affairs at the Consulate, shared the current situation in Japan and the Abe administration's support for Womenomics. Other attendees, representing a wide variety of fields like law, academia, tourism and business, discussed important mentors they have had, how technology can be used for flexible work, and best practices in balancing work and family.

​Ms. Seacord (left) shares her perspective with participants, including (L-R) Ms. Inoue, Ms. Michii and Judge Gardner

Portsmouth has historical significance for Japan, having been the site of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty in 1905, which ended the Russo-Japanese War. Stephanie Seacord, Director of Public Affairs at the Portsmouth Peace Treaty Forum / Japan-America Society of New Hampshire, who supported Judge Gardner in organizing this event, explained to the participants the significance of the venue (a historic hotel called Wentworth-by-the-Sea, where the Japanese and Russian delegation stayed while negotiating the treaty), Portsmouth's sister-city relationship with Nichinan, Miyazaki prefecture (where Jutaro Komura, the foreign minister who represented the Japanese delegation was from), and the important role women played back then (when negotiations stalled and the delegations seemed ready to give up and return home, local leaders reinvigorated them through societal events).

We thank Judge Gardner, Ms. Seacord, the Consulate-General of Boston and the Embassy of Japan!

Click here to see more photos.