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Women Connect at Japan's Spring 2014 WINConference | 
WINジャパン・コンファレンス 2014年春で“つながる”女性たち

Elizabeth Handover, JHRS Women in HR Advocate Leader エリザベス・ハンドーヴァー, JHRSWomen in HR」提唱リーダー

Japan’s annual WINConference encourages women to explore ways to connect, change, succeed and be forces for good. | WINジャパン・ コンファレンス年次会は、女性たちが結束し、変化し、成功し、そして社会善のための力になる方法を見つける好機である。

Originally written in English

     Kristin Engvig, founder of WIN, opened the Japan WINConference by calling on each participant to be “an agent of possibilities – find the small changes and expand on them. Be open, ready to connect, and quick to contribute. Take a risk, commit and have fun. Expect magic!”

     The theme of the fourth annual conference, which was held April 18-19 in Tokyo, was “Expanding Possibilities for an Ever Thriving Japan.”

     Special guest Yuriko Koike, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives and former Minister of Defence, spoke on the government’s upgrading of gender diversity to the status of economic growth policy (SeiChou SenRyaku to shite no JoSei KatsuYaku no SuiShin 成長戦 略としての女性活躍の推進). She rebranded Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “30 percent Female Managers by 2020” initiative, with the catch phrase “20-30.”

     Anita Pratap, an Indian journalist and newly elected official in Kochi, Kerala, spoke of the need for women to have political power to make change and be a force for good.

     Janelle Sasaki, manager of global diversity and inclusion, Japan, Asia Pacific Region at Cisco, gave attendees three key steps to follow: Create an engagement strategy for men on diversity and inclusion, work on middle managers’ mind set, and engage senior leaders for sponsorship.

     At the conference Akira Matsumoto, CEO of Calbee Inc., pledged to be the first Japanese company to achieve “20-30”. In addition to having equal male/female hiring and five women on the company’s executive board, he has promoted the first woman manager to run the company’s Kagoshima plant and named a woman president to the Japan central area.

     Georges Desvaux, CEO of McKinsey Japan, presented findings verifying the correlation between more women executives and better financial performance. Diversity also creates better health in the organisation with higher values, more innovation and better decision-making, according to the findings. Institutions should have strong commitment from the top, invest in developing each woman leader and ensure that leadership training is tailored for women, Desvaux said.

     Miyuki Suzuki, CEO of Jetstar Japan, added that “diversity of thought” boosts innovation. Diversities are difficult to manage and demand leaders who practise openness, listening, trust and transformational leadership.

     Mari Matthews, head of government relations at MetLife Alico spoke of the importance of financial literacy. “Understand your financial position and know how to protect it,” Matthews told the group.

     Keiko Miyata, artistic director of the New National Theatre Tokyo, pointed out that the arts provide alternative career paths for women where they can gain high levels of leadership skills, while ex-marathon runner, Yuko Arimori, told her story of endurance. Arimori said her coach told her:“Keep struggling, keep trying day by day, you will make progress.” After eight years she won silver and bronze medals at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics. In 2007 she retired and now uses her passion for sports to inspire others.

     At the end of the day, dinner included more special guests: Merle Okawara, Izumi Kobayashi and Yuko Yasuda, who are three of the very few Japanese women board members. Eager to increase women on boards, they have started Japan’s branch of the Global Women on Boards.

     This year’s winner of the WIN Inspiring Women Japan Award was Yuko Arimori for her indefatigable support of Cambodian children through her nonprofit organization Hearts of Gold.







     今回の会議で カルビー会長兼CEOである松本晃氏は、同社が最初の“にいまる・さんまる企業”になるとの決意を表明した。従業員採用における男女比率を同じにしたこと、経営陣のうちの5人を女性にしたことに加え、鹿児島工場長に女性を起用したこと、また中日本事業本部本部長に女性を登用したことを明らかにした。


     ジェットスター・ジャパン株式会社代表取締役社長の鈴木みゆき氏は、「思考の多様性」が革新を高めることを付け加えた。 多様性は管理することが難しく、オープンさ、人の意見に耳を傾ける態度、信頼、また変容的なリーダーシップを実践するリーダーを求めると鈴木氏は言う。



     会議終了後のディナーにはさらに多くの特別ゲストが参加した。例えば、日本では数少ない女性の企業重役である大河原愛子氏、小林いずみ氏、安田ゆうこ氏の3人は、企業内に女性取締役をもっと増やしたいとの念願から「Global Women On Boards」の日本支部をスタートさせた。

     今年の「WIN Inspiring Women Japan Award 」は有森裕子氏に贈られた。自身のNPO法人Hearts of Goldを通じてカンボジアの子どもたちに対して不屈の支援活動を展開したことが評価された。



Elizabeth Handover is president of Intrapersona K.K. and a Lumina Learning partner for Asia. She is co-chair of the ACCJ Women in Business Committee, co-founder of the Women's Leadership Development Centre and special adviser to the Global WIN Conference.


エリザベス・ハンドーヴァー イントラペルソ ナKKの社長であり、ルミナラーニングのアジア 地域パートナー。彼女はACCJウィメン・イン・ ビジネス・コミティーの共同代表であり、ウィメ ンズ・リーダーシップ・ディベロップメント・セ ンターの共同創始者、またグローバルWINコ ンファレンスの特別顧問でもある。


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