#movethedialJapan: Highlights, learnings & photos!
We were thrilled to be selected for The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s first women-only Trade Mission to Japan.
Jo Ann Dizy and Corie Caplan, our dynamic partnerships duo, joined 23 other women who are looking to grow their businesses in Japan for a trip filled with incredible speakers, networking opportunities and site visits.
Our three-day trip kicked off with a briefing and warm welcome from the key organizers and and sponsors of the mission including Christine Nakamura of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Lianne Ouellette, First Secretary and Trade Commissioner, Embassy of Canada to Japan and Kiyo Weiss Director, Regional and Premium Sales Asia Pacific Air Canada.
Harmony, Respect and Reciprocity are the three core values that guide both personal and business lives in Japan. These values were echoed throughout the trip, at every meeting and interaction and reflected in the cleanliness of the city, the kindness of strangers and overall hospitality within Tokyo and Kyoto.
After the briefing, we visited the Silver Wing Nursing Home where we got to see how technology, such as robotic belts for lifting patients or heavy objects, can move the dial for the ageing population.
We also attended a private luncheon hosted by Air Canada with Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado. We were thrilled to discover she deeply believes in equality and has a love for Canada, having studied at the University of British Columbia.
We were thrilled to hear from some incredible speakers about how gender diversity is being recognized as an economic imperative in Japan as part of a full day conference at The Embassy of Canada to Japan.
Many women’s networking, support and empowerment groups now exist in Japan, including WITJ and Emerald Club. The speakers echoed what we often hear; there is a need to encourage more young girls and women to pursue careers and interests in STEM for the long-term pipeline.
We closed off the day with an evening reception and dinner hosted by Ambassador of Canada to Japan, Ian Burney, at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Canada to Japan.
We drank in the incredible sight of Mount Fuji on our bullet train from Toyko to Kyoto. At the Kyoto Women’s University, we heard from women entrepreneurs on business practices and policies for international expansion. We were astounded to find out that out of the 70+ women’s universities around the world, only 26 or so are led by women! The Vice President of the Kyoto Women’s University, Dr. Hideko Takeyasu voiced his hopes that his successor is a woman.
We concluded the day in Kyoto perfectly with an informative walking tour around one of the largest shrines in Kyoto and the vibrant markets - a perfect time to visit with Cherry Blossoms in full bloom!!
#movethedial Roundtable discussion luncheon:
As part of the trip, we hosted a luncheon to gather insight into women’s advancement in Japan. We learned more about the locally focused movements and women’s empowerment groups but that there is an appetite for international movements like #movethedial who can provide a fresh perspective.
We’re very excited to bring #movethedial to a new country and gather learnings to inform our global expansion. A beautiful country with a highly-evolved technology ecosystem, we are looking forward to forming more partnerships and building relationships to advance all women in tech in Japan!