JCIE is holding the 2022 US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue, a three-part virtual discussion bringing together more than 40 women leaders from across multiple sectors from the United States and Japan. The dialogue is co-chaired by Hon. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Hon. Seiko Noda, who is now Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate. The dialogue is intended to provide a platform for women leaders in both countries to share insights and ideas on how best to empower women as full and thriving participants in our economies, governments, and societies, and to create meaningful connections and networks that serve to strengthen and underpin the US-Japan relationship.
This program builds on the discussions from two previous US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue discussions. The inaugural dialogue was held in person in September 2017 in New York, which led to the creation of a Diet caucus in Japan to support young mothers and fathers in the legislature, as well as the launch of a foreign policy study group for women Diet members. The second dialogue was held online in 2021 and focused on the theme of “Advancing Women’s Leadership in a Time of Crisis” to address the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on women, and it resulted in a set of recommendations that were published in a report.
The topics to be covered in our third Dialogue in 2022 are:
Session 1: Gender and the Role of Politics (January 12, 2022)
Session 2: Frameworks for Success—Systems to Empower Women in Politics and Promote Leadership (TBD)
Session 3: Promoting Women in the Digital Society (TBD)
Implementation of many of the proposed reforms discussed at the 2021 dialogue has yet to be achieved, though they have now become part of the mainstream discourse in both countries. This offers room for further discussions among women leaders in Japan and the United States to exchange concrete steps that governments, businesses and other actors can take to bring about the changes that are needed. The 2022 dialogue therefore focuses on discussing key policies and best practices in promoting women in politics to reflect more women’s voices in policymaking, and facilitate discussions between policymakers and leaders of other sectors including businesses and non-profits to promote women in the economy including those in STEM-related fields.
The first session of the 2022 US-Japan Women Leaders Dialogue began with presentations on each nation’s gender policies. Hon. Seiko Noda discussed her new role in the Kishida cabinet and her plans to improve women’s employment conditions, reform Japan’s workstyle, and address childcare and eldercare in order to permit women to live up to their full capabilities. On the US side, Ms. Jennifer Klein, co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council, then outlined the Biden administration’s newly released National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, the nation’s first-ever gender strategy, and Rep. Diana DeGette spoke about some of the policies that Congress has passed to improve the lives of women and families, particularly in light of the pandemic. All participants were then invited to voice their thoughts in a roundtable discussion on the impact of policies on key issues affecting women. Some of the topics raised included the importance of the care economy and making caregiving more accessible to all women, ways in which businesses are helping women meet the challenges of the pandemic, the impact that reliance on part-time/freelance jobs for women has on individual financial security and the economy, the undervaluation of women’s work in the nonprofit sector in Japan, and more.
Welcome & Introduction
Ms. Hideko Katsumata, Executive Director & COO, JCIE/Japan
Ms. Peggy Blumenthal, Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education
Initial Remarks from Dialogue Co-Chair
Hon. Diana DeGette, Member, US House of Representatives (D-CO)
Remarks from Resource Persons
Hon. Seiko Noda, Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate (LDP)
Ms. Jennifer Klein, Co-chair, White House Gender Policy Council
Co-chair | Diana DeGette
Member, House of Representatives (D-CO)
Vice President, Issue Advocacy, Vital Voices Global Partnership
Co-host | Peggy Blumenthal
Chair, JCIE/USA; Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education (IIE)
Former President, Ford Foundation
Member, House of Representatives (D-OR)
President, Three Degrees
President & CEO, ITOCHU International Inc.
Vice President, Asia Society Policy Institute
Senior Lecturer and Executive Director, Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative, MIT Sloan School of Management
Founder, Japan Women’s Leadership Initiative
Executive Director, JCIE/USA
Associate Vice President, Head Global Women’s Health Policy and ESG Strategy
Inaugural director of the Initiative for Education Policy and Innovation at the Centre for the Study of Global Japan, University of Toronto; Co-Founder of STEAM labo called SKY Labo
Senior Advisor for Government Affairs, Abbott
Co-Chair of the White House Gender Policy Council, The White House
General Manager, Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Washington Office
Elizabeth “Libbie” Prescott
Director, Fellowships Office, Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)
Chief Administrative Officer, Geodesic Capital
Associate Director at Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Senior Advisor, White House Gender Policy Council, The White House
President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women
Co-chair | Seiko Noda
Minister of State for Gender Equality; Minister in Charge of Women’s Empowerment; Minister for Measures for Declining Birthrate; Minister in Charge of Policies Related to Children; Minister of State for Regional Revitalization; Minister in Charge of Measures for Loneliness and Isolation; Member, House of Representatives of Japan (LDP)
Senior Political Writer, Asahi Shimbun
Vice President, Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd.
Editor-in-chief, Nikkei xwoman
Director-General, Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office of Japan
Managing Officer & General Manager, Accounting Department, Prince Hotels, Inc.
Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)
Member, House of Councillors (Democratic Party for the People, DPFP)
Co-host | Hideko Katsumata
Executive Director and COO, JCIE/Japan
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mizuho Financial Group Inc.; Member of the Board of Director, ANA Holdings, Inc., Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and OMRON Corporation
Senior Vice President, General Manager, Marketing Department of Management Service Division, NTT Learning Systems Corporation
Partner, Sharman & Sterling LLP
Head, OECD Tokyo Centre
Member, Executive Board of the Eiichi Shibusawa Memorial Foundation and the MRA Foundation
Executive Director, Talent Development Department, Talent Innovation HQs, Eisai Co., Ltd.
Senior Vice President, NEC Platforms, Ltd.
Member of the House of Representatives (CDP)
Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)
Vice President, Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
Board Chair, J-Win (Japan Women’s Innovative Network)
President, NTT Media Supply Co., Ltd.
NHK World News Anchor & Reporter
Consul, Consulate General of Japan in New York
Kim Gould Ashizawa
Senior Advisor, JCIE/USA
Program Officer, JCIE/USA
Assistant Program Officer, JCIE/USA
Chief Program Officer, JCIE/Japan