SEPTEMBER KICK-OFF EVENT
Monthly Meeting, Upcoming Event
September 22nd @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (JST)
Are you a woman traveling an unconventional path? In fact most women appear to be walking the road less traveled and this panel aims to make this reality visible, celebrated and normalized.
At our September Kick-off Members Meeting, we call upon long time members, new members, and board directors to share their unique stories, delight us with their many career pivots, and help us chart a path to understanding the rich professional journeys and personal stories of our FEW Japan community. Serial entrepreneurs, corporate divas, single moms, cosmopolitan globe-trotters, divorces, singles, and beyond, FEW wants to bring these women’s unique perspectives into the spotlight. With the 100 year life, women are experiencing all sorts of pathways, pivots and pioneering opportunities to find their zones of genius, their happiness, and their sweet spots here on earth. Married, single, children or not, career-focused or homemaking, women are finding success in all shapes and sizes, and we support and hold space for all of it. Your story and your choice matters. And your choice can help others to find the courage to choose a new path, pivot to a new direction, and find a new way forward to your own unique definition of personal and professional life balance.
Destructive learned behaviors, family dynamics undermining our dreams, and/or stereotypes putting us in boxes that undermined or misrecognized our excellence and potential for leadership. Too often women are asked to follow in the “conventional” carbon copy image of men’s career trajectories. But women make up 50% of the population and hold up half the sky. It is time we normalize all the inspiring ways that women’s professional journeys are “the norm” that perhaps more men can aspire to learn from, emulate, and follow in their own pursuit of purpose, life happiness and family balance. Join us to learn about the various positive and challenging obstacles that these panelists have met and overcome.
If you are keen to hear stories of “normal” and yet “awesome” women who have overcome negative stereotypes and various lifetime roadblocks to assert their own voice, vision, and visceral personal power, this first member meeting of 2022-2023 is the event for you! Join us to hear the fascinating journeys of 5 unconventional women, and 2 unconventional moderators charting pathways for peace and fulfillment in their own unique ways. The women on our panel will speak to a variety of ways to unblock innate personal self-leadership potential and how to lean into your own heart to create your own fulfilling life journey. Let us come together, dream out loud, share in the break out rooms, and build a community that celebrates and normalizes the unconventional as the “new normal” for women’s authentic personal and professional development.
Join us on this journey, tell your story!
Success can be defined in many ways, but an unconventional definition of success takes account of every single win, big or small. We believe that every journey counts and can be considered successful no matter the path taken. Therefore, our first members meeting for 2022-2023 is aiming to inspire you by highlighting/showcasing (putting the spotlight on) “Unconventional Journeys”.
This event is designed as a session for women with different backgrounds to exchange their experiences and to motivate each other to achieve their goals. Within FEW’s community, we have such a broad and diverse membership base: creatives, entrepreneurs, corporates, executives, technologists, homemakers, non-profit stakeholders, academics, social impact artists and more. Therefore, our panelists represent different career and life experiences so we hope that this diversity will help you to make your choice. Each of us brings unique skills and experience to the community that can benefit other members while sharing our vision, and showing how it will benefit women across Japan.
There is no “right” or “wrong” choice in your life. There is a choice which suits you. So FEW is always at your side to help you out. FEW is committed to providing women’s professional development no matter where you are right now in your career or your location in Japan.
Concepts and keywords to keep in mind
Redefine success, traditional vs unconventional journey, path, pathway, reorientation, overcoming barriers, overcoming traditional obstacles, resilience, ingenuity, winner mindset, small win, big win, success, life and work balance, from comfort zone to success zone, possibilities, break free from stereotypical roles/confinements, happy place, journey.
- Networking; you will have ability to meet with different professionals and interesting women, goal- oriented, experienced, living long time in Japan
- Your story can be heard; tell us about yourself, your difficulties and achievements, so our community will be able to support you
- Connect with other dynamic women in similar professional contexts looking to connect about professional development and growth opportunities
- Be inspired and gain confidence you need to pursue your journey
- Learn from other’s experiences; our panelists will share their journeys so you can find it useful for yourself
- Learn about the many paths available for womxn seeking advancement, a pivot and/or a transformative career shift
“26 or so years ago, I moved from NYC to Tokyo with 13 boxes and a bicycle, to co-manage a Japanese music artist called Pizzicato Five. Before that, I worked in music compilation contract administration for over a decade. After Pizzicato Five, we managed other artists with modest success. But what I learned about myself is that I wanted to be the artist, not the manager.
After years of the success/failure cycle, I walked into an Apple Store to get my old Mac repaired. I lamented how hard life was and mused about moving back to the US. A friend who worked for Apple recommended I interview – I scoffed, since I didn’t speak Japanese. But I went for it, got a job, worked part time, then full time.
My entrepreneurial drive was on hold. But I was working for a company I’ve loved for decades, so that was a big plus. I started helping businesses choose and buy their Apple devices and tap into the Apple business ecosystem, and have done so ever since.
Right now, I’m writing a newsletter about being creative in the face of life challenges. I’m restarting my podcast about creativity. I’m working on a book about self-awareness and imposter syndrome. And I’m making beats, lyrics and illustrations. I’m finally bringing the art that’s in my head into reality; I call myself a late-and- happy bloomer!”
Kyoko Nagano is a Japanese national who was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Jeddah Saudi Arabia and in the United States. She worked at ITOCHU Corporation, UBS, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, AIG and MetLife but as a trailing spouse, she had to give up her corporate career and lived in California for 2 and a half years and in Thailand for 5 years with her family as a housewife and a mother of 2 kids.
Ever since she came back to Japan, her passion to introduce Japanese culture and to support struggling sake breweries led her to launch 2 businesses in 2018 and 1 company in 2019 and she was recently interviewed by Savvy Tokyo here: https://savvytokyo.com/business-owner-kyoko-nagano-shares-whats-behind-her-passion/
She is serving as a board member since 2018, currently in Vice President role and she also volunteering at InterNations as an Ambassador.
Viktoriya Shirota was born in Russia, in a mixed Russian-Ukrainian family. After graduation from Novgorod State University (economics) in 2001, she came to Japan and for 13 years she lived as a housewife raising 2 sons. However, the passion to achieve something in life except being a housewife led her to start her career as an office clerk in a small export company and as an English teacher in the local private kindergarten. Later on, she graduated University of London (School of Economics, Politics and International Relations) with honours and this led her to a private consultancy in trade and political economy as a freelancer.
Together with that Viktoriya has served as a board director in NPO Michel Club in Ibaraki prefecture for 3 years helping children from socially disadvantaged families to get access to education. Viktoriya naturalized in 2010 in Japan so she is deeply involved in social projects for single mothers, children and DV victims together with Japanese authorities.
At the moment Viktoriya is a business consultant (trade, fintech) as well as a business owner. She is a board of directors at PJP Eye LTD, an innovative startup providing a new generation of battery technology.
Australian Tracey Northcott of Enfour, Inc., Tokyo Family Stays and Tracey Northcott Consulting, is a serial entrepreneur and multi-preneur based in Tokyo, Japan. She is one of the most successful Short Term Rental hosts in Tokyo with her company, Tokyo Family Stays.
She also runs a Software development company, Enfour, Inc. with her family. Enfour, Inc, a software development house involved in all areas of language enabling solutions for mobile computers and mobile phones, specifically in Asian Languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Enfour creates multilingual educational and communication solutions for use with mobile devices such as PDA’s, smart phones and all types of internet enabled mobile phones. Tracey’s role within Enfour varies between basic coding and editing, administration. She also spends much of her time on various consulting projects for local and overseas clients specialising in the mobile phone industry.
Tracey is also involved in many volunteer projects. In the past as President of the Australia Society in Tokyo and more recently on the board of FEW JAPAN. Most weekends you can find her distributing lunchboxes in Yoyogi park with an NPO focused on food security.
Tracey has lived in Japan since 2000. She is a mother to a cheeky son, Max and wife to Ashley – also an entrepreneur in Tokyo.
Dr. Kristie Collins is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Reitaku University, in Kashiwa, Japan. Kristie teaches courses in Gender Studies, Media Studies, Canadian Studies, and English communication, and has been teaching at universities across England, Finland, Turkey, and Japan for over twenty years. Among her varied publications, are The Marginalized Majority: Media Representation and Lived Experiences of Single Women (Bern: Peter Lang, 2013), “For Empowering Women (FEW): Women Supporting Women in Japan” in Readings on Diversity Issues: From hate speech to identity and privilege in Japan, edited by Lisa Rogers, Julia K. Harper, Soo Im Lee, and Donna Fujimoto (Living Within Diversity Press, 2016), and “Waiting with bated breath: My journey to securing tenure” in Foreign female English teachers in Japanese higher education: Narratives from our quarter, edited by Diane Hawley Nagatomo, Katheen A. Brown, and Melodie Cook (Candlin & Mynard, 2020). As a single foreign academic in Japan, Kristie enjoys researching the ways these identity categories intersect and inform each other, and she remains amazed and delighted that she gets to teach classes on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Queer Eye,” and “Sex and the City” for a living.
Léa Perceval was born and grew up in Haiti before moving to Canada, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political communication. Currently, she is working at the Haitian Embassy in Japan as a Councilor. Prior to coming to Japan, she worked in Haiti as a Political Attaché at 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 who enrolled back in university to complete an MBA three months after giving birth. Motherhood taught her so much and has grown to become a better leader by continuously practicing empathy, being more patient with others while becoming more assertive and emotionally intelligent. Furthermore, 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.
Dr. Jackie F. Steele is a trilingual, Canadian political scientist, law/policy expert, author, and longtime Japan resident. Jackie has taught at leading universities in Canada and Japan.
For over two decades Jackie has engaged with law reform and social policy advocacy to drive evidenced based solutions for gender equality, multicultural diversity, employment equity, LGBTQ inclusion, equitable risk governance and sustainable innovation. She has presented to the Canadian parliament, represented civil society to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (2008/2009), led research networks within international political science, and served as diversity advisor to the UN international Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015).
Aiming to be a bridge between policy research on DEI and the business world, in 2019 she became founder and CEO of enjoi Japan K.K., sharing expertise on how to design and implement diversity-positive ecosystems, policies and corporate cultures. Using best practices from Canada, Jackie offers evidence-based change management strategies to guide leaders in creating healthy and diversified corporate decision-making and flat, inclusive workplaces that are empowering for all diverse talent. To her own great surprise, since April 2022 Jackie ended up again pivoting into a corporate role as Senior DEI Business Partner for Amazon Japan G.K.
In her volunteer life, she is President of FEW Japan, a director of the Pride Business Alliance Japan, a 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.
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We look forward to seeing you online!
Note: This event is for womxn only.