On 30 March 2017, the AJSV and Corrs Chambers Westgarth co-hosted a Business Conversation on
– “Women in Australia-Japan Business: Success Stories and Practical Tips” –
The event was attended by Australian and Japanese women and men, all senior representatives drawn from business, government and academia, including three distinguished guests (pictured):
Ikumi Inoue, Executive Director, Buchan / Nikken Sekkei
Marie Turner, Company Secretary and Director, Mitsubishi Australia Ltd
Kaori Okano, Professor in Asian Studies /Japanese, La Trobe University, and President of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia
The discussion covered important themes for women in relation to the evolving business relationship between Australia and Japan, and provided insights garnered from the experience of participants. Topics included Stereotypes versus the Emerging Reality, Limitations on Career Advancement (the “Bamboo Ceiling”), and Work/Life Balance for Women in Japan.
For Australian women pursuing career opportunities involving Japan, some Practical Tips that emerged from the discussion include:
- Put yourself forward if you are interested in opportunities to do business with Japan.
- Be professional and allow your merits to do the talking.
- Find a mentor with the relevant insights and experience to guide you through uncertainty.
- Treat after-hours activity as a matter of choice, both for you and your Japanese clients, rather than a ‘cultural necessity’.
- Try to enjoy being the only woman in the room – don’t be intimidated. Turn it into an advantage.