On September 27 (U.S.) / 28 (Japan), the Women+ Forum hosted a fireside chat with USJC Co-Chairs Kathy Matsui (MPower Partners) and Susan Morita (Arnold & Porter, JALD ’11), which was moderated by USJC Associate Amy Yeung (Sallie Mae, ELP ’12). Ms. Matsui and Ms. Morita discussed their backgrounds and career paths during the event. Despite the differences in their careers, their familiarity with both Japanese and American culture respectively allowed them both to succeed in their roles and rise to leadership positions within their respective industries.
Our panelists then discussed the policy and economic climate during the progression of their careers and how this shaped their roles and evolution as leaders. They also discussed other factors that impact the development of a professional career, including tradeoffs between personal and professional development and the existence of sponsorship and allyship. A number of anecdotal experiences also reflected the importance and impact of how broader community as well as professional allyship and support can create meaningful positive differences when determining one’s work assignments or voicing opinions in the office.
Ms. Matsui and Ms. Morita also discussed how their respective industries have changed over the course of their 30+ year careers and shared their opinions on the progression of a variety of issues that have evolved and continue to evolve, including further recognition of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in informal and formal ways. Following the panel, attendees were invited to participate in small group breakout sessions and also had the opportunity to network with both fellow participants and the speakers themselves.