The 2014 U.S.-Japan Council (USJC)-American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Women in Business Summit was held at the ANA InterContinental Hotel in Tokyo on May 27, 2014. Dr. Marcy Wilder of the JIRCAS Fisheries Division attended the Summit as a speaker. The Summit aimed to bring together Japan’s many diverse women’s organizations that are working toward the goals of better conditions for and representation of women in the working environment in Japan, and featured a full program of speakers, panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities throughout the day. The Summit featured an opening address by U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, followed by a keynote speech by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. Both leaders stressed the importance of the equal participation of women in the workforce as essential to the future growth of Japan’s economy.
Dr. Wilder served as a speaker in a breakout session entitled “Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) together with Naoko Yamazaki (Astronaut), Sayaka Ito (Account Manager, Dow Water & Process Solutions, Dow Chemical Japan, Ltd.), and Rebecca K. Green (Senior Consultant, ERM Japan). The session featured a lively discussion among the panelists, followed by Q & A interaction with the audience.
The session served to showcase the careers of women in STEM, featuring an insider’s perspective of the skills needed to advance in STEM professions, focusing especially on how women can make a difference. The panelists also debated how such goals can be achieved, and it was generally agreed that the promotion of women role models in the workplace, and real efforts to achieve numerical targets of women working in the STEM fields in universities, companies and research institutes are highly necessary. Of foremost importance, a general consensus among the speakers and audience was achieved putting forth that we need more efforts to engage women in STEM careers because everything that we encounter in daily life – food products, clothing, transportation, communication technology and so forth – is a product of STEM, and women’s ideas and talents should be put to full use.
The Summit was attended by more than 700 people, with 100 attendees present at the STEM session.
Summit site: http://usjcaccjwibsummit.com/