Editor/Writer: Maaya Sato
Happy International Women’s Day!
On 8th March, Women in Technology Japan Team gathered at Annie’s (WITJ founder/president) favorite restaurant to celebrate International Women’s day with some truly inspiring women over a delicious kaiseki dinner.
The event was attended by WITJ mentors, including Xinmei, Director of Engineering at Google Maps; Miho, guest lecturer and mentor at Showa Women’s University’s School of Global Business; Yumiko, an independent leadership coach who has worked for foreign tech companies and financial institutions; and Rutsuko, an engineer and business developer at Japanese and foreign IT companies. Together, these diverse women gathered to support WITJ’s mission to close the gender gap and promote diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.
During the dinner, the group had a comprehensive discussion on the latest AI tools, such as ChatGPT, and how they can impact our future. They also talked about the current state of IT systems in government services and shared their different experiences of using these services.
A particularly impressive question was asked by Tuba, a new member of the WITJ core team: “What was your biggest failure?” The group shared stories ranging from lighthearted to serious ones, each offering a unique perspective and important lessons to learn from.
“I was working for my company at the expense of my private life.”
“I was a very workaholic person and sacrificed my private life. Having a great career, I realized that I was still not happy in some way, and that was not who I really wanted to be. It made me realize that I was always living up to others’ expectations and not my own. Since then, I have become aware of the balance between work and mental health that truly makes me happy.”
“I have started three companies in the last 20 years. If only I had more confidence and faith in myself, I would have planned better. I could have run all the businesses with a single company resulting in smoother and less challenging operations.”
Each person’s story was not only interesting but very informative and resonated with us.
One story that left a strong impression on everyone was Rutsuko san’s. She shared that when she was young, her priority was her work above all else. Being married at a young age, she had an unplanned pregnancy and initially prioritized her commitment to work over her health. She always had this pressure of never being outdone by men. Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage, which made her aware that she was a woman after all and that she may have been pushing herself too hard, and it made her realize her priorities in life. She told us that businesses or companies can run without us, but being able to have a child is a privilege of being a woman.
After two miscarriages and many struggles that she faced in her career as a working mother, Today, she continues to work but keeps her family as her top priority.
If you want to get to know more about her, Rutsuko’s interview article is available here!
Also read interview stories of other mentors here:
Thank you for sharing such an amazing night, filled with inspiring stories!
[SAVE THE DATE!]
We are excited to announce our upcoming event to celebrate 10 years anniversary of Women in Technology Japan! Our theme is “Women Disrupting Japan”
Date: Wednesday, May 17
Place: Nishiazabu, Tokyo
More details will be announced soon!
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