Celebrating Womxn’s Nonprofit Board Leadership: the Power of Community

may_event_poster_Celebrating Womxn's Nonprofit Board Leadership - Few Japan

May 18th @ 19:00 PM – 20:30 PM (JST)

Event Details

Join outgoing Board Members Stephanie Bay, Corinn Wilson, Tiffany Rossdale and Jemma Gallagher, together with co-moderators Léa Perceval and Dr. Jackie F.Steele as they speak about their current roles outside of FEW, their core values, their past nonprofit service and their motivation for serving on the FEW board and their takeaways, showcasing the power of community when it comes to womxn’s nonprofit Board Leadership. We welcome you to celebrate this event with us that will highlight the achievements and contributions of these outgoing Board members. Building and maintaining a strong community is essential for any nonprofit organization, and it’s especially important when it comes to supporting women’s leadership in organizations.

Worldwide womxn, not just within FEW Japan, have made significant contributions to the nonprofit sector, serving as leaders, innovators, and advocates for social change. It is important to note though, that while women make up 75% of jobs in the nonprofit, education and philanthropic sectors, in general, worldwide, women hold far less than 75% of leadership positions in these organizations despite their contributions. This is changing though, for example, In the US, women make up 49% of nonprofit board members according to a survey conducted by BoardSource in 2022.

In Europe. Women account for 44% of nonprofit board governance (2019 survey by European Women’s Lobby) and in Australia, women make up 42% of nonprofit board members according to a 2017 report by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In Japan, in general, while the number of womxn executives listed in executive roles in companies (not just nonprofit sector) has increased 5 x in the last 10 years the number is still very low compared to the rest of the world, and the actual number of womxn board members has also remained very low. In regards to the nonprofit sector, womxn employees made up nearly 50% of the staff. According to the NGO Data Book from 2021, the gender ratio of NGO/NPO in Japan indicated that womxn made up 32.7% of the representatives in Japan. Let’s hope to see more promising trends emerging.

Here at FEW Japan, we hope to continue to challenge the status quo when it comes to an all womxn identifying board.


Stephanie Bay (Co-Vice President) is a Civil Engineer from Germany with over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. After graduating university in Germany, she worked over 8 years for Northern Europe’s largest construction company Skanska in Sweden’s capital Stockholm. She was one of the few female managers on railway and highway projects when she started off her career and is eager to see more women enter that industry. “Women need to see more role models in the construction business!”. She values authenticity, and her freedom, both in personal life and in career.

Now Stephanie works for Japanese company Nohara Holdings as Project Manager implementing and supporting the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on construction projects. Off from work she loves spending time with family. Especially her 1 year old son Felix, who is a joy to everyone.

Her past non-profit service has been commitments in women networks in Europe. The motivation to start serving for FEW Japan was their overarching theme of embracing community. FEW Japan accepts women with all sorts of backgrounds and at the same time provides a safe space for everyone.

Corinn Wilson (Public Relations Coordinator) considers Phoenix, Arizona USA to be her hometown, although she grew up in a military family. The experience growing up as an “Air Force Brat” shaped her love of travel and learning more about different cultures. After graduating (UArizona), Corinn moved to Japan to teach English for a private English conversation school in Okayama city. She was only in Japan for one year but the experience resonated with her greatly and she discovered her love for helping students pursue their educational goals. Since completing a Masters in Higher and Postsecondary Education, over the past 10 years she has been working with both domestic and international students in the US and alongside foreign officials, sponsors, and governmental agencies to develop policies and programs that best support their students studying abroad. Corinn returned to Japan in August 2019 as part of the Phoenix Sister Cities Teach Abroad program where she currently serves as an Assistant Language Teacher for the municipal Junior High and Elementary schools in Himeji. She is currently a Career Advisor at Temple University. Within the FEW team, as Membership Director, she has supported members through the Annual Peer to Peer Program and as Public Relations Director, she has facilitated outreach to women looking for an inclusive safe and brave community. She has enjoyed sharing the mission of FEW and forging new relationships with women around Japan.

Tiffany Rossdale (Membership Director),

Tiffany Rossdale, a successful entrepreneur originally from Manila, Philippines, has been a Tokyo resident for over 28 years. Her journey began in the late 90s when she discovered the vibrant VIP nightlife scene in Tokyo, quickly establishing herself as one of the city’s most prominent socialites. Over the last decade, Tiffany has curated and designed some of the most luxurious events for high-end hotels, luxury fashion brands, and megaclubs as the founder of Tokyo Fashionista. Throughout her career, Tiffany has had the opportunity to work with renowned international artists and musicians, including Kat deLuna, Vita Chambers, and Lavelle Smith Jr., a choreographer to American pop stars like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Beyonce. 

In 2010, she embarked on a career as a DJ, playing at various fashion parties, private and corporate events, and famous clubs in both Japan and the US. In response to the pandemic, Tiffany shifted her focus to the LGBTQ+ community, hosting her own podcast called “Breakfast With Tiffany Show,” which is dedicated to promoting wellbeing and community. As an open transgender woman activist, she passionately advocates for the power of our voices to change the world and create a safer community for all. As a certified motivational and transformational lifestyle coach, Tiffany also mentors, coaches, and speaks to advocate for transgender rights and visibility. She hosts wellness retreats that focus on life balance and runs a traveling concierge service for high-end Japan travelers. Tiffany is also an aspiring actor, continuously exploring new avenues for personal growth and expression. Her diverse skill set and dedication to promoting positive change make her a true inspiration to women everywhere. Her story serves as a reminder that with hard work, passion, and determination, anything is possible.

Jemma Gallagher (Special Events Director) has spent more than half of her life living abroad, between Japan, Germany and the US. Jemma was born in Tokyo but spent most of her childhood on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. She has a BA from Bard College where she majored in Japanese studies. She returned to Tokyo after 2 years as a JET in Amakusa, an MA at Kyushu University in Fukuoka and a year in Yokohama at the InterUniversity Center. She currently works for Amazon in their student programs, guiding young professionals into their new jobs when they graduate from university. Before moving to Amazon, she worked for two years in human resources solutions, finding talented bilingual Japanese university students to work in broadcasting at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Through her work in that role she discovered the breadth and depth of incredible talent in Japan. Jemma has a passion for bringing out the best in people through their work, and is hoping to continue that vision through her role on the board of FEW Japan. She feels that working with FEW Japan is an invaluable opportunity to continue providing professionals and women in Tokyo and around Japan with the tools and learning opportunities that they need to pursue their career goals with intention and drive. When she can find the time, Jemma likes to cook, knit, lift weights, ride her bike long distances, and sail.

Léa Perceval (Program Director) was born and grew up in Haiti before moving to Canada, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political communication and a master degree in business administration – project management. Currently, she is a Counsellor in charge of cultural and administrative affairs at the Haitian Embassy in Japan. She has previous work experiences in Haiti as a Political Attaché for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in Montreal in the fields of communication, marketing, and sales for various institutions. She is a proud mom of twin daughters. Motherhood taught her so much and allowed her to become a better leader by continuously practicing empathy, being more patient with others while becoming more assertive and emotionally intelligent. 

Her core values in life: 

Three principles guide her life : Truth, Respect and Justice. Her family is the most important gift from life and bring her the most joy. Leaving a great legacy behind her is what she lives for everyday.

Past nonprofit service (prior to FEW): 2015-2017: Formerly administrator at Club Rotary de l’Est de Montreal, 2016-2017: President of CHAM (couleurs d’Haiti a Montreal), community organization promoting Haitian art and culture in Montreal, 2016-2018: Co-Founder and former board member at PUSH Haiti, a thriving organization helping graduate in various field enter the labor market by organizing a yearly job fair and pairing the best candidates with organisation that offer life changing opportunities. 2019-Present : Co-Founder and board member at FanmIn Haiti, an educational organization.

Her motivation for joining FEW:

Empowering women, especially young girls, has always been a subject of interest of hers, a journey that started with empowering herself. Juggling motherhood and a career is a challenge she embraces and uses to grow. It is said that it takes a village to raise a family, her community is her support system in that sense, therefore she does not hesitate to put her experiences, skills, and knowledge to the service of the community, mainly by volunteering. She recently joined FEW Japan as a board member co-directing programs.

Jackie F. Steele (President) is a trilingual Canadian political scientist, author, and diversity advocate of 25 years, and has taught at leading universities in Canada and Japan. As CEO of enjoi Diversity & Innovation Jackie supports leaders with systemic change strategies that create and sustain a diversity-positive organizational culture. For two decades Jackie has shared her research on law reform with grassroots organizations and policy leaders looking to implement best practices supporting diverse citizenship and inclusive innovation. Jackie started out her nonprofit board service with the Canadian chapter of the UN Development Fund for Women, raising awareness and funds for gender equality through parliamentary networks in Ottawa, Canada. She then represented Canadian civil society organizations on women’s equality to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (2008/2009), and served as gender/diversity advisor to the Japan Women’s Network for DRR in support of revisions to the 2015 UN International Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Among her nonprofit service roles, Jackie is President of FEW Japan, director of the Pride Business Alliance Japan, governor for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan, an angel Activator with SheEO Canada, and the Strategic Advisor of WomEnpowered International (UTokyo). She is mother to two adorable children and considers Chikuma (Nagano) her hometown community in Japan.

Her core values in life: 

  • Mutual respect for individual freedom
  • Public Service to foster equity and collective freedom
  • Collaborative Reciprocity 

Her motivation for joining FEW:

Empowering women of all diverse walks and backgrounds, and supporting the self-determination of all diverse under-appreciated groups in society is my life’s work and passion. It was further enhanced by my role as a mother to two beautifully nonconforming children (daughter and son). I feel that we need to get involved, bring public-minded intentionality to curating the world we want to see and live in to serve the needs of all forms of radical individuality. This is the strength of our democracies, our organizations, and our ability to adapt as a species to live in a regenerative and positive relationship with our mother earth. Inspired by indigenous and intersectional feminist political philosophies of building community, in all of my roles in life, I am devoted to building the conditions for a more equitable and exciting future where equality, power-sharing, and justice are collectively supported and seen as the personal responsibility of all individuals, organizations, companies, governments, nonprofits, and all life forms with whom we share the earth.  

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