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.

A Regional Women in Leadership series luncheon held in Washington, DC in December, 2016

Regional Women in Leadership Networking

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. 

Panel Discussion at the 2018 Annual Conference

During the “Pioneering Women and Breaking Barriers” session at the 2018 USJC Annual Conference, Ms. Yuka Tanimoto, Deputy Editor-in-Chief & Event Promotion Section Chief Producer of Forbes JAPAN and Ms. Emi Takemura, Fellow, Mistletoe Inc.; Co-founder, FutureEdu Tokyo; and Co-founder/Advisor, Peatix Inc., shared tips for women to succeed as leaders, including celebrating one’s own differences. In another session, Dr. John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, discussed with his colleague Lena Morita the importance of diversity in the field of technology. Women spoke at 13 out of 15 sessions at the Conference.

Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative

The Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative (JWLI), founded by USJC Board Member Atsuko Fish and supported by USJC, continued to thrive in 2018. This Boston-based program, which fosters Japanese women leaders interested in nonprofit management, is offered twice a year. The 2018 Fall Fellows concluded their program by pitching their ideas at a joint event with participants of the TOMODACHI Disability Leadership Program in America, which also takes place in Boston.


As part of the 2018-19 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP), Japanese university students from Sapporo, Fukuoka, Tokyo and Osaka traveled to Washington, DC and New York City to meet with members of Congress and other leaders. High school students participating in the TOMODACHI High School Women Career Mentoring Program in Fukushima supported by the TOMODACHI Combini Fund, which is supported by Lawson and FamilyMart Co., Ltd., learned from mentors with global careers. Female Japanese undergraduate students who participated in the TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University Program visited Houston and Washington, DC.