Women in Technology Japan was established on May 13, 2013, at Google’s Japan office. Over the past decade, we have experienced remarkable growth, expanding our team/community from just five members to a thriving community of 700+ members.
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we reflect on the incredible journey we have embarked on since that memorable kick-off event. Throughout the years, we have organized more than 40 online and offline events, bringing our community together. To commemorate this milestone, on May 17, 2023, we gathered at Tokyo Academics for a grand celebration of our achievements.
In this report, we would like to mention the highlights of our 10th-anniversary celebrations.
Prior to the commencement of the event at 7:00 PM, our community members, along with our dedicated sponsors, enthusiastically gathered to show their support for our initiatives.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Unwired Logic for generously sponsoring the beverages at the venue. The reception commenced with a delightful selection of wines and beers.
This marked our first in-person event since the onset of the pandemic, and the reunion of members after several years evoked palpable excitement.
At 7:00 PM, the event commenced with an inspiring opening speech delivered by our president, Annie Chang. She reflected on the remarkable journey of the past 10 years, expressing sincere appreciation to our esteemed community members and sponsors for their unwavering support.
Following that, an interview session took place featuring Rami Suzuki, President of Moderna Japan, as our esteemed guest speaker. This session served as the focal point of our program, offering invaluable insights.
Engaging in conversation, WITJ mentor Miho Aoki delved into the company’s proactive measures aimed at fostering a greater presence of female professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Japan.
At Moderna Japan, gender is not a significant differentiating factor among employees, as individuals are empowered to work without limitations imposed by traditional gender barriers. While there are some differences depending on the type of work, this is basically the result of hiring the most suitable person for each type of work.
Another remarkable aspect that caught my attention was the fact that 10% of Moderna Japan’s workforce comprises interns, in alignment with Suzuki san’s visionary approach. This initiative is an effort to provide young individuals with invaluable opportunities to explore careers in STEM-related fields.
Subsequently, a panel discussion unfolded, featuring esteemed WITJ mentors Rutsuko Yoshida and Yumiko Inoue, addressing thought-provoking topics such as “Defining Women’s Leadership” and “Key Factors for Achieving Success Beyond Gender and Industry Boundaries.” These engaging conversations revolved around the core themes of exploring the multifaceted aspects of women’s leadership.
Let’s begin with the topic of “role models,” widely acknowledged as crucial in fostering an increase of women leaders. What defines a role model? We explored where individuals can find these influential figures.
They told us that it is not necessary to have only one role model but that it is important to have someone to look up to, regardless of age, gender, or background. Engaging in networking within and outside the company was identified as a valuable avenue to connect with diverse individuals.
Furthermore, the discussion shed light on the reluctance of both women and men to pursue managerial positions, primarily due to concerns about workloads and achieving work-life balance.
Drawing from their personal experiences, the speakers provided insights into the essential working styles and mindsets required for individuals and companies to thrive in managerial roles while maintaining peace of mind.
One particularly inspiring anecdote was shared by Rutsuko san, a project manager at Cisco, who shared her journey of transforming her perspective on “self-management.” By adopting this mindset, she effectively managed her time, assumed leadership roles, and successfully balanced her professional responsibilities with her family life, including raising a child.
Another notable aspect of Yumiko’s talk was her emphasis on fostering comfortable work environments and accommodating diverse working styles. She told the significance of companies offering flexible work styles, such as telecommuting, staggered work hours, and flexible scheduling. Additionally, she reiterated the importance of providing work choices according to one’s lifestyle, such as off-track (staff track) and management track, along with facilitating recurrent training during childcare to facilitate a smoother return to work.
Lastly, during the closing session, WITJ mentor Xinmei delivered closing remarks, while WITJ data analyst Cali and technology and strategy consultant Tuba highlighted the WITJ’s mission and data representing the change in the percentage of women in workplaces and universities in Japan.
Insightful data included the percentage of female executives in listed companies increased from 1.8% in 2013 to 9.1% in 2022, marking a significant 7.3% growth.
Following the presentations, an exchange party featuring a delectable spread of Vietnamese cuisine started. The atmosphere was vibrant, fostering engaging conversations among the participants and Women in Technology Japan mentors.
The event was further enriched by the sharing of inspirational stories and valuable advice from distinguished individuals like Rami Suzuki and other esteemed WITJ mentors.
Among the notable highlights was Suzuki’s empowering message to all participants: “You are the future.” These words resonated deeply, emphasizing that each individual holds the power to shape the future. The gathering served as a powerful reminder of the importance of comprehending the present challenges and having the courage to voice concerns and take decisive action.
Heartfelt appreciation is extended to the community members who consistently support WITJ activities, as well as to Tokyo Academics for generously providing the venue. Gratitude is also expressed to Unwired Logic for their contribution to beverages, Nikkei Woman for providing the magazine, and TokyoDev for their unwavering support throughout the year. Special thanks to the TokyoDev and WITJ mentors for their continuous guidance and support.
Finally, Women in Technology Japan will continue to hold online and offline events in the near future.
The event information will be posted on the following website, mailing list, and SNS channels, so please follow us and stay tuned!
WEB : https://womenintech.jp/
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/company/women-in-technology-japan-witj-/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/WITJapan
Instagram : https://instagram.com/womenintechjapan/
Twitter : @JpTechWomen
If you resonate with WITJ’s mission and would like to extend your support or explore collaboration opportunities with our community, we warmly encourage you to reach out to us. We value every potential connection and are eager to explore ways to work together.
Thank you, and see you again!