News

Q&A with Rena Suzuki, Co-founder and Leader of Lean In Tokyo

RenaSuzukiimage2Leading 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, and the heroes that inspired her to co-found Lean In Tokyo.

Don’t miss this inspiring speaker this Thursday, February 9th. Find out more about the meeting here.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To be surrounded by the people I love and to do what I love. I think I am very lucky to have most of that.

What is your greatest fear?

To lose my family. I am now able to do what I love because of my family’s support. However, if I lose them I will lose all of my happiness.

What is your current state of mind?

I am very energetic! Since we started Lean In Tokyo, I’m always energetic. Last year, I learned how to use most of my time doing what I love to do and follow my passion and this makes me super energetic!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Modesty and the perception that quitting is a bad thing.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband, Felix. We fell in love during university, and got married after 1.5 year long-distance relationship between Singapore and Germany. During our long-distance relationship, he supported me from far away. We finally got married last October after both of us moved back to Tokyo.

When and where were you happiest?

When I was in high school as an exchange student in Wisconsin. It was my first time to be exposed to new cultures, new ideas and new ways of thinking. That is when I learned how to be confident.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To inspire others. I have met many leaders who inspired me, and I would like to be as inspirational as those people. I think it is very important to find a passion first in order to be inspirational. I have found my passion, which is women’s empowerment, so I think I am one step closer!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

To found Lean In Tokyo. I had not found my passion until that time and I never had any opportunities to lead something and experience what I am experiencing now. However, thanks to my co-founders Satoko and Yoshie, I was able to find and live my life’s work.

What is your most treasured possession?

An accessory that I received from my grandmother. The accessory is a horse shaped necklace. I really do not know why she gave it to me and I could not ask her before she passed away. However, I believe that is my lucky charm. It makes me feel that I am like a horse and can overcome any hurdles.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty. Since I am the type of person who can’t lie or hide my emotions, I want others to be honest about their thoughts and emotions as well.

Which book do you think is a must-read for women?

“LEAN IN”!! I truly recommend reading this book. If you have not read it, you should!

Who are your heroes in real life?

My biggest hero is my grandmother. She was president of her family company and kept working until she passed away. She loved working and she was so inspiring that many people followed her. It was very rare at that time for a woman at her age to become president of a Japanese company. Thanks to her, my mom learned that it is normal for women to work or to be leaders. That’s why I never questioned women taking on leadership roles and becoming successful at business.

What does FEW mean to you?
FEW is a model support group, or what we call a “Lean In Circle,” of active, talented women. I wish there were more support groups of this kind.

When have you have felt most empowered?
When I see people connecting. I truly believe in the power of connection. I see people connecting everywhere, such as at Lean In Tokyo events/meetings, or other events such as FEW events. Connections empower people and causes through mutual support, especially our Lean In movement. The entire women’s empowerment movement thrives with each new connection. Together, we are better and stronger.

What is your motto?

Be authentic!

News

March 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: The Art of Pricing and Negotiation

On March 29, 2017, the FEW Women’s Start-Up Club covered two crucial topics to successfully grow your business: Pricing and Negotiation.  Vanessa Oshima, General Manager, Women’s Category, at Nike Japan, first led an engaging discussion on identifying and developing strategies for successful price setting. Tanja Bach, FEW Women’s Start-Up Club Committee Member, then continued the discussion with insights on successful negotiation […]

Published on 4th April 2017

History of FEW Series: Top Highlights from Past CSS Events

By Raena Murakami, Public Relations and Communications Co-Director One of FEW’s flagship events is the biennial FEW Career Strategies Seminar (CSS), a full-day professional development event led by experienced, successful female business leaders and mentors. The event consists of workshops and skill-building sessions to equip participants with the tools necessary to enhance their lives and […]

Published on 3rd April 2017

Q&A with Travel Industry Experts Chiara Terzuolo and Rie Miyoshi

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Unveiling Japan: New Themes in Travel & Tourism,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with speakers Chiara Terzuolo of Veltra and Rie Miyoshi of Outdoor Japan. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Here, Chiara reflects on valuing those who […]

Published on 1st April 2017

The Way of Tea Recap – An Introduction to Japanese Tea Ceremonies with Ruth (Sōshin) Lionberger

By Tanja Kinnen, FEW Special Events Director The Way of Tea and the chance to gain deeper insights into this mysterious Japanese tradition brought 15 curious women to attend our special event on a sunny Monday afternoon. The national holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Ruth (Sōshin) […]

Published on 1st April 2017

How I Got Here: Tanja Bach

Ever been asked “What do you do?” My answer: “I empower people to become the best version of themselves.” As a coach and facilitator, I am lucky to do what I love by enabling leaders, teams, entrepreneurs and anyone with a dream to realize their potential and be the best version of themselves. I like […]

Published on 1st April 2017