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, 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?
July 2018 Member Offers and Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners and other FEW Community Events here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also […]Published on 5th July 2018
Recap – Career Strategies Seminar 2018 – AMPLIFY
On Saturday, June 2nd, FEW hosted its 20th Career Strategies Seminar around the theme, “AMPLIFY – Elevate Your Career to New Heights” at DMM.com headquarters in Roppongi. The seminar was attended by more then 60 women – both FEW members and guests – as well as over 20 facilitators whom are business owners, coaches, and […]Published on 3rd July 2018
How I got here : Alexandra Morrow
Growing up with itchy feet in a tiny village in eastern Germany I always hoped I will travel the world and live in lots of different places. My international journey started when I decided to move to Dublin, Ireland, at the age of 23 to learn English. Fast forward 20 years and I have […]Published on 3rd July 2018
June 2018 Monthly Meeting Recap – Breaking the Mold: Finding New Beginnings at Any Age
By Jackie Steele, FEW Co-Programs Director On June 20 we were delighted to welcome Cynthia Usui, author of 専業主婦が就職するまでにやっておくべき8つのこと (Eight things Full-Time Housewives Should Do Before Entering the Workforce) and Head of Hospitality, Tokyo 2020 Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, as our guest speaker at the June Monthly meeting entitled, “Breaking the Mold: Finding New Beginnings […]Published on 3rd July 2018
May 2018 FEW Women’s Start-Up Club Recap: The Importance of Cyber Security to Entrepreneurs
In our May Women’s Start-Up Club, Nicola Vote of McAfee shed light on how entrepreneurs can protect their customers and also protect their reputation and business online. And she managed to leave us all well informed, alert yet a bit “scared”, too. Let’s jump into some definitions and which aspects are important when it […]Published on 24th June 2018
FEW Summer Weekend Brunch Mixer
Join us for delicious food and great networking over weekend Japanese-style brunch at Shibuya's Trunk Kitchen before our summer break.