USJC Women+ Forum Discusses Navigating the Workplace, Race, Gender and Age in Inaugural Event

The USJC Women+ Forum hosted its inaugural event on June 22 with an impressive panel of female leaders within the USJC community: USJC Legacy Council Member, CEO of Cole Chemical & Distributing, Inc, and President of ALFA-PPE, LLC. Donna Cole (JALD ‘06), Chair of USJC Board of Councilors (Japan) and General Partner of MPowers Partners Kathy Matsui, and USJC Associate and Global Leader for DEI at Meta Platforms, Inc Mana Nakagawa (ELP ‘14). The event was moderated by USJC Board Member and Partner at Straterix, Inc. Yoko Otani.

The event, which explored the theme “Navigating the Workplace: Race, Gender, Age,” aimed to provide a safe and unique space to openly discuss issues that may be sensitive or hard to honestly address in other venues. The panelists shared stories of personal experiences regarding navigating a professional environment as a non-dominant minority. These female leaders also discussed how one’s Japanese heritage impacts their respective leadership styles and provided specific advice and suggestions as to how to find allies in male-dominated industries. Additionally, the panelists also discussed how to better position oneself to be heard and amplify one’s voice. The event attracted USJC members from mainland United States, Hawaii and Japan with a diverse range of professional roles and ages. 

In accordance with one of the Forum’s key goals, developing person-to-person relationships across geographic regions, participants and panelists were given the opportunity to discuss the themes of the event in a more intimate setting. Insights that were discussed during the breakout sessions will be summarized and made available to the attendees in support of the “safe-to-say” principle of the Forum. 

The next event hosted by the Forum is scheduled for September 26 (U.S.) / September 27 (Japan) and will cover the topic of “Beyond Mid-Career: Advanced Secrets to Success.” 

Thank you to Yoko Otani for generously providing the above content!