I’ll never forget the moment I found out we were moving to Japan because I nearly burned dinner. While my husband and I had been looking to move out of the United States and out of our native Michigan, Asia wasn’t on our radar. It just seemed too far, too hard, too removed from everything we were used to.
But now, almost three years later, I can’t imagine having chosen another path. We made the move to a place where every daily task can come with its own unique challenge, and we’ve become better people for it.
For me, the hardest part was leaving behind a career that had taken so long to get going. Many people I encountered expected me to do little more than go shopping and socialize as a steadfast, silent cheerleader for my husband. Taking the first steps to put myself out there was a challenge that left me wrecked by anxiety some days, but it was through the amazing women I’ve met in Japan that I found my place here and pulled myself away from the draw of comfortable stagnation. They kept their ears open for job opportunities, passed along names and email addresses and set me up on blind friend dates. They checked on me when I was sick and invited me to spend holidays with them.
Joining FEW was a first for me as well, but I was welcomed with open arms. The genuine interest in helping one another succeed flies in the face of awful stereotypes associated with women. We’re not here to compete with each other but to propel each other forward. And that’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve accomplished more professionally and personally in these three years than I ever thought possible. Each little milestone has served as a reminder of the strength, determination and grace inherent in all women . . . we just have to tap into it.
How I Got Here: Tia Haygood
If you were to tell me that I would be an entrepreneur in a country 11,000 kilometers from my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, I would have laughed. Yet here I am running my own business, TopTia Photography. I officially moved to Japan in 2011 as an English teacher, biding my time before graduate school. […]Published on 1st March 2017
History of FEW Series: Illustrating Women in the Workplace
In celebrating 35 years of empowering women in Japan, FEW has been looking back on our unique collection of FEW historical items and information. One of our favorites is the FEW 20th Anniversary Newspaper, which highlights the early years of our organization. This newspaper is full of great mentions, interviews and historical anecdotes, all of […]Published on 1st March 2017
February Meeting Recap: Lean In: Japanese Women
By Lisa Matsumoto, Public Relations & Communications Intern On February 9th, FEW members and guests leaned in to listen to our guest speaker, Rena Suzuki, co-founder and leader of Lean In Tokyo. Lean In is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their ambitions. Lean In Tokyo helps women gain confidence and take an active […]Published on 1st March 2017
February 2017: Welcoming our new FEW Members
This month, we are proud to welcome five new members to the FEW community! Our members hail from all over the world and have diverse and unique experiences to share with FEW. As the go-to place for personal and professional learning and connection, we’re constantly inspired by our members. If you’re interested in FEW membership, click here for […]Published on 10th February 2017
Q&A with Rena Suzuki, Co-founder and Leader of Lean In Tokyo
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Leaning In’ in the workplace, we’re featuring a Q&A with speaker Rena Suzuki, Co-founder and Leader of Lean In Tokyo. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Here, Rena reflects on following her passion, the power of connection, […]Published on 6th February 2017
The Art of Pricing and Negotiation
Join us for the fourth Women’s Start-Up Club meeting on Wednesday, March 29th, where we’ll learn about the "art of pricing and negotiation" in an interactive workshop featuring Vanessa Oshima, General Manager, Women's Category, at Nike Japan.
Midweek Lunch Mixer at Le Petit Marché
Join us for delicious food and great networking on Thursday, March 30 for our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Le Petit Marché in Roppongi.
Unveiling Japan: New Themes in Travel & Tourism
Get the inside scoop on tourism in Japan as Chiara Terzuolo and Rie Miyoshi, two travel industry experts, discuss how Japan is promoting tourism in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as well as new business opportunities in the industry and their top picks for Golden Week.
Special Lunch Mixer in Midtown Park
Join us for delicious food and great networking over a picnic in Midtown Park on Thursday, April 20, at a special edition of our monthly midweek lunch gathering.