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How Can Japan “Activate” Women?
- Yumiko Murakami (Head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Tokyo Center)
- Akiko Imai (Professor of Business Design Department, Showa Women’s University)
In the 2017 Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum, Japan ranked 114 out of 144 countries, three points down from the previous year and a record low status. Why is it so difficult for Japan to narrow the gap between men and women? How are the government and companies tackling this problem?
Professor Imai will look back at post-war trends in Japan’s women’s policies, whose basic notion has changed from protection to equal-opportunity, to fostering labor force participation. She will discuss the 2015 Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, the White Company Ranking for Working Women published by SWU Institute of Women’s Culture, a public opinion survey on gender roles, and other findings.
Ms. Murakami will explain the difference between Japan and the global awareness of women’s empowerment policies and practices. She will also introduce OECD’s initiatives to promote women in all member countries, as well as proposed measures that Japanese society and businesses should take to further promote diversity.
Head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Tokyo Center
Since Yumiko joined OECD in 2013 as the head of OECD Tokyo Centre, she has been at the forefront of policy discussions between OECD and governments, businesses and academia in Japan and Asia, covering a wide range of economic policy issues. She has been leading discussions with various stake holders in Japan and Asia, particularly in the areas of Corporate Governance, tax guidelines, gender diversity, education, international trade and innovation. Prior to joining the OECD, Yumiko held a number of leadership positions as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. Yumiko has diverse professional experiences, ranging from banking in New York and London to UN Peace Keep Operations in Cambodia. Yumiko has an MBA from Harvard University, MA from Stanford University and BA from Sophia University. She sits on the Japan Advisory Board of Harvard Business School as well as several advisory committees of the Japanese Government. She is the author of a bestseller book, “Turning Demographic Challenges into Economic Opportunities”(Japanese only), ranked #1 at Amazon Japan in the economics category.
Professor of Business Design Department, Showa Women’s University
Professor Imai earned her master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She has been managing editor of Japan Echo magazine, English-editor for the Japan Foundation, and an executive director of the Tokyo Foundation. She is now teaching “Japan’s Women’s Policies,” “Sustainability and Social Business,” and “Globalization and Leadership” at SWU’s Business Design Department. She has coordinated international programs including the SWU-University of Colorado, Boulder Joint Workshop on “Gender Issues in the United States and Japan.” Her recent writings/translation includes “Development Assistance for Inclusive Growth: A Field for Japan-U.S. Cooperation?” (CSIS Strategic Japan Working Papers);『最後の資本主義』(Saving Capitalism, Robert Reich. 2016), 『格差と民主主義』(Beyond Outrage, Robert Reich. 2014),『暴走する資本主義』(Supercapitalism, Robert Reich. 2008), and others.