Learning outside the classroom
As an environmental consultant working in Japan, my experience navigating a complex regulatory environment led me to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).
Initially, I supported the Environment Committee as a Vice Chair and then Co-Chaired the expanded Energy and Environment Committee for four years before being elected to the Board of Governors. My role on the ACCJ has given me broad access to key regulatory changes and industry trends across a variety of sectors.
In addition to providing access to a wide spectrum of professional knowledge, the ACCJ organizes the Women in Business (WIB) Summit, which, in 2014, brought together over 700 leaders and innovators to highlight the importance of women for economic growth in Japan. The WIB Summit provided a platform to share ideas on empowering Japan’s female workforce, which faces a large gender gap when it comes to employment rates and salaries for women compared with other OECD nations. It was both inspiring to take part in the discussions and tremendously rewarding to moderate a panel focusing on women with careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I also had the privilege of interviewing one of Japan’s female astronauts!
The 2015 WIB Summit will focus on practical measures for change. Once again, I will be involved in our Women in STEM careers panel, which will include a discussion between CEOs and their team members, who will be encouraged to share specific examples of actions that have worked for their companies and how they are looking to improve opportunities in STEM careers for current and future generations.