BCCJ marks International Women's Day 2019

March 10, 2019



Tokyo, Japan (March 11, 2019) The British Chamber of Commerce, in association with Barclays and SMBC hosted a special event to mark International Women’s Day 2019.

Celebrated annually on March 8, International Women's Day highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity in the workplace.

The 2019 International Women's Day global theme was #BalanceforBetter. 

Balance for Better

Across the world, companies and organisations are striving to achieve gender balance. Initiatives such as the 30% Club, He For She, and the W20 have begun to produce results in the public and private sectors. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, even gender-balanced sports coverage . . . 

Calling for collective action and shared responsibility, the BCCJ was pleased to welcome on March 8 a distinguished line-up of panelists who shared with our audience the progress their organisations are making - as well as the challenges they still face - in the area of gender equity, not only in the UK but in Japan, the Asia region, and globally.

Change agents

Speaking at the event were: 
Masahiko Oshima, SMBC Deputy President, Head of International Banking Unit
Takako Masai, Bank of Japan, Member of the Policy Board (keynote speaker)
Sue Kinoshita, British Embassy Tokyo, Minister Counsellor for Economic Diplomacy
Vanessa Koo, Barclays, Head of Banking APAC
Paul Lirette, GlaxoSmithKline Japan, President
Haruno Yoshida, W20, Co-Chair

Key topics discussed included harnessing digital tools to allow for flexible working, increasing gender representation on boards, mentoring female recruits to better navigate promotion, and the psychological importance of handing out fair praise.

With Japan being the only G7 nation not to rank in the top 100 (110/149) of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, the business community in Japan has a responsibility to lead and inspire positive change throughout their organisations.

With sincere thanks to SMBC for hosting this important event at their head office in Otemachi, Tokyo.