Career women often attribute their ability to succeed in a challenging environment to mentors and/or role models. In the Japan Society Women’s Impact Network member survey, only 3% of women who responded indicated that they have had a female mentor while working in Japan and 5% indicated they have had a male mentor in Japan. In contrast, 30% indicated they have had a female mentor in the U.S. and about 28% of respondents have had a male mentor. In addition with only one exception, our respondents unanimously indicated that they did not think there are sufficient female role models in Japan today.
Please come join a lively discussion on how role models and mentors shape lives, what makes a good mentor, how to find one and how to be one! Please also help us explore how we can help support increased role models and mentorship to support women and girls in Japan.
Our panelists include Suzanne Basalla, currently Chief of Staff, Toyota Research Institute, formerly EVP and COO of the U.S.-Japan Council and former Senior Advisor to Ambassador Roos in the U.S. Embassy of Tokyo, and Linda Calhoun, founder of Career Girls, a program empowering young girls through closing the gap in imagination for young girls. Through her work, she has interviewed nearly 600 hundred women on their experiences. Please come watch Linda work her “interview magic” on Suzanne and at the same time hear the stories about how Suzanne navigated mostly male environments. Linda will also be sharing some video of her CareerGirls interviews done in Japan.
Tracy Gopal, Chair of the WIN Network, along with Suzanne and Linda, will facilitate an interactive activity to help you network, exchange ideas, and create your own actionable idea to promote or seek mentorship.
Suzanne Basalla – Chief of Staff, Toyota Research Institute
Suzanne Basalla serves as Chief of Staff, Toyota Research Institute. From October 2012-March 2017, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S.-Japan Council, an educational non-profit dedicated to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations through people-to-people connections, especially investing in next generation leaders through the TOMODACHI Initiative. From March 2010-September 2012, Suzanne served as Senior Advisor to Ambassador Roos in U.S. Embassy Tokyo. In that capacity, she supported the Ambassador on the full portfolio of security, economic, political and cultural issues in the U.S.-Japan relationship. Previous to her Embassy assignment, she was Director for Japan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary of Defense, she served as an officer in the United States Navy, including assignments in Japan, the Pentagon, and Diego Garcia. Suzanne received a master’s degree in Asian Studies from the George Washington University and graduated from the University of Virginia. In 2008, she received the inaugural Ryozo Kato Award for service to the U.S.-Japan Alliance.
Linda J. Calhoun – Founder and Executive Producer, CareerGirls.org
Linda is the founder and executive producer of CareerGirls.org. She is president, Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, board member, Alliance for Girls, trustee, World Affairs, and chair, International Relations Forum, Commonwealth Club of California. She holds a BS in Mass Communication from Boston University and an International Marketing Certificate from American University, Paris.
5:30 – 6:00 p.m.: Registration and Networking
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.: Main Program
7:30 – 8:00 p.m.: Additional Networking and Refreshments
This is a program of the Japan Society’s Women’s Impact Network. Event venue generously provided by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.