Thursday, May 27, 2010

Women changing Japanese culture

One of the goals of the JWLI Fellows Program is to encourage women to be leaders in Japanese communities and society.  The following article illustrates some positive changes in Japan's corporate culture.

Japan ranked in 101st in the “gender gap index” study by the World Economic Forum, an international nonprofit that measured the economic opportunities and political empowerment of women by nation in 2009. Iceland ranked No. 1, while the U.S. was No. 31.

Japanese women make up just 9% of senior officials and managers—a tiny share compared to 43% in the U.S., 17% in China and 38% in France, according to data from the International Labour Office compiled by Catalyst Inc, a New York-based nonprofit that pushes for business opportunities for women.

Morra Aarons-Mele, the founder of consulting company Women Online and an expert on women’s professional development, thinks it’s not enough for a company to have smart women who know how to market to women, and says it’s more critical whether such women get to rise to leadership positions.

“If the Panasonic women’s products are simply a public relations stunt or a fun marketing idea that won’t go much further, then I do think they are unfairly typecasting women product designers,” she told The Associated Press.

“If these new programs help some women designers get noticed and promoted to a place where they can take the lead in designing many products, not just hair dryers, then I think it’s great.”
Whatever the wares, Yamada is confident her team of women has mastered the way to a Japanese woman’s heart—something she says her male counterparts and bosses can’t hope to match.

(full Japan Today article)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Changing culture

One of the goals of the Japanese Women's Leadership Initiative- both the Fellows Program and the Forum- is to inspire Japanese women and men to take on leadership roles in the nonprofit sector and thus impact social change in Japan.

Harvard Business Review offers Five Tips for Leading Campaigns for Culture Change:
Everyone agrees that culture is the hardest thing to change, whether ethics in the financial system or the eating habits of individuals. That's because change is not a decision like appointing a new CEO, nor is it an event like winning an election. Change is an ongoing campaign.

Even in a hierarchy, top officials can declare a new policy or restructure by fiat, but they can't change behavior without a campaign to win hearts and minds. If culture change is difficult within a company, it is even harder in looser systems such as communities and countries. (full HBR article)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HBR Article

Does Leadership Really Matter in Nonprofits?

It seems clear to me that leadership is the most important of the three legs nonprofit organizations stand on (the other two being strategy and capital). Nonprofits can develop sound strategies and attract sufficient capital, but without strong leaders at the helm, they're unlikely to deliver outstanding results. (full Harvard Business Review article)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Announcing recruitment for the 2010 JWLI Fellows Program

Click on the images below to enlarge the 2010 recruitment flier!