Agents of Change: Women CEOs of U.S. Based Japanese Subsidiaries

Although many Japan observers are quick to say that change comes relatively slow in Japan, the cumulative changes over the past fifteen years in the business arena have been profound, and are still evolving. One noticeable feature is the complex set of changes in behavior in the corporate world towards women. Although there are many females entering-and still exiting-the workforce, and only serving tea and doing other minor clerical tasks, there are now many others who have transcended such old-school, social norms and are paving the way for future generations to hope for success in the Japanese business world. With a declining population, within a few years labor will become in short supply as the economy achieves and maintains sustained growth. It will be increasingly important that Japan utilize its women in the labor market far more efficiently and effectively. Few women achieve management positions, particularly in large Japanese companies, and even fewer become CEOs. It is both noteworthy and particularly interesting that there are some cases of women serving as CEOs of Japanese subsidiaries in the United States. To shed some insight about running a Japanese subsidiary in the United States, the Center on Japanese Economy and Business invited two female CEOs-one American and the other Japanese-to talk about their personal experiences of running a major company, of being female, and of what has or has not empowered them to climb the corporate ladder so successfully. The speakers were Melanie Hart, President of the TASUS Corporation, a subsidiary of Nagoya-based auto parts manufacturer Tsuchiya, and Yuki Hattori, President of Dentsu Communications Inc., a U.S. unit of advertisement giant Dentsu Corporation. The two were joined by Columbia Business School Associate Professor Schon Beechler. This report highlights the speeches and following discussion with audience members. The program, sponsored by the Mitsui USA Foundation, was the seventh annual Mitsui USA Symposium, which kicked off the 20th anniversary celebration of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
Published Here
June 17, 2011