ELLE Women in Society Forum in Japan, 4th edition

For the 4th consecutive year, on June 17th, ELLE Japan successfully hosted the ELLE Women in Society event, in Tokyo at Shibuya Hikarie. Through this one-day forum, ELLE Japan aims to encourage the success of women in Japan by helping them to realize their potential, to improve their performance and by supporting them to achieve work-life balance.

Themed “Future is Yours”, ELLE Women in Society conducted its fourth event, which is now one of the largest in Japan. Against the backdrop of our current world which faces acceleration in globalization, changes in technologies including AI, and many social issues such as the declining birthrate and growing proportion of elderly people, the event proposed “attitude toward working” to the women of today.

Guest speakers currently active as leaders in various fields, including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, took the stage and gave special seminars. A wide variety of workshops were also offered, from lessons on applying makeup to improve your likeability, “smile lessons” in facial yoga, running sessions, and kick boxercise. A total of over 2,000 working women took part in the event.

Special Seminars:

  • Women who work in the movie business

Naomi Kawase, a world-renowned film director and award-winner at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, was welcomed as a guest and talked with ELLE Editor-in-Chief Kanako Sakai. As a message to the working women, Kawase said, “the mother’s gaze is what will save today’s world. I think for this modern world, we need things that are nurtured by women’s benevolence and gracefulness,” gathering great interest from the audience.

  • How to deal with life’s turning points?

At a seminar that attracted so many attendants that they overflowed from the room, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike shared her story about studying in Egypt at the young age of 19 and becoming an Arabic language interpreter. “I have done things that were different from other people in order to gain skills that were different from others. Whenever you are feeling indecisive, just take one step forward,” she said, sharing her approach to improving one’s skills. To a question asked by a member of the audience, “when are times that you have shed tears of regret?” she answered, “I would regret showing my tears to others, so I try not to cry,” in a moment in which she showed an unexpected side of her.

  • Take one step forward in the direction your heart takes you

Christel Takigawa and Ellie Omiya are friends in their private lives, and they took the podium together. The two, who have a similar background in that they both once worked for a company and later became self-employed, exchanged ideas about their own styles of working. When one of the participants asked for advice on how to take that first step, Takigawa said, “you have to go inward and face what is inside your body.” Omiya said, “in your own life, you are the lead character, so you simply have to write your own script. Learn to enjoy dialoging with yourself,” both offering encouragement to the audience.

  • Through “bero-ship,” make relationships and work run nicely and deliciously

Remi Hirano and her daughter-in-law Asuka Wada are known for being close. They introduced the idea and know-how on—not “skinship” but—“bero-ship” (bero = “tongue”). Through the topic of food, which is the foundation of life, they discussed ways to develop interpersonal relationships and to lead a healthy and enjoyable life. About “bero-ship,” Wada discussed the importance of meals in our everyday lives, saying, “For bero-ship, it is important to pass on the combinations and flavors of food. If I can recreate Remi’s flavors, they will keep on living within our family, even after Remi is gone.”

Others who appeared in the seminars included Clair Deevy, the Head of Economic Growth Initiatives APAC at Facebook, who stated that the success of women will lead to the success of the entire society, as well as Sputniko!, a contemporary artist who uses cutting-edge technology to create never-before-seen expressions of art. They offered many words of encouragement for the working women.

Once again, this 4th edition of ELLE Women in Society has been really enriching and inspiring.
And rendez-vous is already set for 2018!

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