A Spotlight on Men’s Leadership for Change featuring Terrence Holden
FEW Japan started the New Year with a Virtual Brunch with guest Terrence Holden of Tokyo Speaks. The never ending quest for gender equality cannot continue to be placed on one gender to shoulder. FEW recognizes that men’s leadership plays just an important role in propelling equality and equity into reality. Thus, we are pleased to provide a spotlight on men’s leadership for change.
Terrence’s talk touched on his New York background, move to Japan some eight years ago along with the challenges of cultural adaptation, international marriage and a journey going from a blog to a podcast. Initially he embarked on a creative mission to interview community people on a blog that then shifted to a travelling van filled with cool memorabilia, owned by his co-host, and where they recorded the interviews. Terrence’s co-host took a different direction leaving Terrence the opportunity to rebrand himself and the show into how it is known today notably as Tokyo Speaks.
Terrence then shared with participants some intriguing insights about what he feels it means to be an inclusive community leader. It all started with a change of a mindset to look beyond his initial track record and pattern of interviewing disproportionately more men than women. He moved beyond this norm, set a gender balance goal and ‘quota’ and he deepened his commitment and practice of featuring marginalized community voices, men and women, that needed to be amplified. Coming from a marketing profession, Terrence was committed to reaching specific targets regarding the gender disparity of his invited guests, and he got to work networking with women more, and curating topics that needed to be highlighted. This further allowed him to engage with a more diverse community of speakers and allowed for different perspectives, particularly women’s realities, to also be recognized and included in the curated program of topics.
Impressively after two years building up a diverse podcast inventory, he can now boast that the speakers of Tokyo Speaks are 53%-54% women and he has also increased and diversified his audience with both more women and men tuning in to a more inclusive range of featured topics.
Since the pandemic started in 2020, Terrence has also aimed to highlight artists as it is through their talents that provide the community a window for alternate mindsets. Terrence mentioned that many are in a locked mindset. He insists that he cannot force others to change their thinking but can only be example to follow.
FEW Japan would like to give our gratitude to Terrence for sharing his inspirational story allowing us to appreciate men’s leadership in action.