The idea of “Active participation in society by women” is taken up as the core of the growth strategy for Japanese economy. As their opportunities are expanding in and out of Japan, women themselves may as well rethink the way they should be in society.
For our seminar, we invited Akiko MacDonald who has 40 year work experience at Japanese, American and British companies and in particular waded through British male-dominated society to achieve many award-winning works as a top salesperson. We discussed the significance to participate in both domestic and international societies for elegant and independent Japanese women living in this century with their hidden strength.
Please listen to Peggy Lee’s song “I ‘m a Woman”. No matter how busy you are, and have no time to sleep, you can do all the things like housekeeping and child-rearing at a time, a woman can be that wonderful. Please remember that every one of you are a wonderful existence with that power.
Nowadays, the position of woman is becoming very different. We can have a job, be a housewife or any other way we could be, it is important to be “a grown woman” regardless of your situation anyway. It is still far behind, the society where you have to present the symbolic image of a “woman” which is easily acceptable to men, and go on as the great pretender. This is also a problem for women, not only for men who needs that kind of image, so you have to change your own mindset. Speak in your real voice, see things with your own eyes and stand on your own feet just the way you are – so it is very important to always be yourself.
What you are today is made of accumulated “periods” in the past and the “process” at the moment. No matter what it may be, your past is your own thing and yourself. You cannot change or leave it behind. You can only create a path to your future progress from the present by developing a new understanding of your past experiences. For a start, you need to analyze yourself hard looking back at your past to clarify what you want to be, why you want to be what you want to be, what you have, what you do not have. The process will show you what you do not want to see, and tell you what you do not want to know, which is daunting in a sense to understand yourself you have been avoiding to see. However, if you could overcome your fear, when you run up against the wall, get torn, and be embarrassed helplessly in your true light but managed to pick yourself up, you can be real you and feel confident.
That is the “Self-Empowerment”, and it is encouraged that you make most of your own strength, know your weakness, seize the opportunity and keep trying to create strong and supple self.
The global average of the percentage number of the woman in managerial position in the office is 12%, while it is 0.9% in Japan. Why is that the situation in Japan where people with better education and financial stability live? Of course it is not everything to work for a company, still it is necessary to analyze the real reasons and obstacles hindering people willing to get ahead in society. And, if you want to change the world, women should be the first to change.
Life is made up of a series of choices. You get strong while you suffer and discover. Excuse, negativism, self-protection and the barrier are nothing but obstacles to your progress and growth, which is the same when you think about the whole concept of the relation of you and the society. It is always a succession of decisions and choices in your everyday life, and whenever your life event takes place. At all times, do write down, not only just think about your own SWOT analysis: if you focus on micro (home, neighborhood) or macro (regional, global), if you are a leader type or an assistant, and if you are independent or dependent. You, as the first person, have to think about what you want to do, not what people think. And if you could adjust it to the way you live at that point and focus on it, then it is important to let the people around you, the second person and the third person, know and help them understand.
Three factors, such as sensibility, intelligence and sensitivity form your humanity. Both at home and in the society, please remember to refine these qualities to be an intelligent and mature woman.
Can you change? From now, from today?
All the Participants were given great courage by the very persuasive story of Akiko MacDonald who never lost herself in the male-dominated society all the way with a pride as a Japanese woman to keep on trying without being arrogant. It was very impressive that she shook hands firmly with each participant at the end of the networking session.
Host: City Planning Bureau, City of Osaka