News

How I Got Here: Petra Canan Trudell

BoardPetraI’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.

News

Q&A with tailor Melanie Uematsu

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with our speaker, tailor Melanie Uematsu. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Hear about women’s love-hate relationship with the fashion industry, why one style doesn’t fit all, and how […]

Published on 28th June 2017

June Meeting Recap: A Personal Journey: Japan’s War Brides

By Lisa Matsumoto, Public Relations & Communications Intern Members and guests alike joined FEW’s monthly meeting on June 8th to hear the story of Japanese war brides, a story often overlooked and untold. We welcomed Lucy Craft, a filmmaker and former FEW member in the 80s, to reveal their hidden stories. As a daughter of […]

Published on 28th June 2017

May 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Location Independent

The FEW Women’s Start-Up Club (WSC) attracted its largest audience on May 31, 2017, with three panelists sharing how their online-based businesses are succeeding, independent of location. Below are summaries of their presentations. Be sure to check out their sites for more inspiration! The next WSC event is “Mentoring and Networking” on Thursday, June 29. […]

Published on 22nd June 2017

FEW Community 2017 Survey – We’d like to hear from you!

FEW has launched its biennial FEW Community 2017 Survey, and we invite all FEW members and friends to take part! The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete. By sharing your feedback, comments and suggestions on FEW programs and events as well as your past and future experiences with FEW, you will help us ensure that we continue to meet our […]

Published on 20th June 2017

Event Recap: Mirai no Mori Back to Nature Outdoor Cooking Program

FEW members and friends spent a fantastic day as volunteers at Mirai no Mori’s Back to Nature Program on June 10th. On the outskirts of Tokyo, in beautiful and green Mitake, we met with the staff and volunteer teams of Mirai no Mori and a Saitama children’s home to support a program designed to empower […]

Published on 16th June 2017