Unconventional Journeys – FEW September event!


September 22nd @ 7:00 PM – 21:00 PM (JST)

 Are you a woman traveling an unconventional path?

Join FEW Japan members and guests for our September panel, as we start the new FEW year. Our annual theme is ‘Unconventional Journeys’ because so many of our members see their lives this way. So we created this panel with folks whose names you may know, to share their own stories and help you to dig a little bit deeper in a safe, comfortable space.

These stories span the professional, the personal, and the spaces between. If you’re comfortable sharing, we’ll make space for you to ask questions and share your own story, too! We’re hoping to learn from you and to help you learn from each other.

Please be sure to sign up below.

This event is for FEW members and guests who are women/women-identified. See you there!


Terri MacMillan

Terri MacMillan: “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

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

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.

Tracey Northcott

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

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

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

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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