This series of video interviews provides excerpts from a conversation with Heather McLeish, Director, Financial Services Advisory, EY Japan, on women in the work force in Japan and what progress has been made under the government’s “Womenomics” program.

Her comments are in conjunction with the latest Women in Business Summit, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on February 28, 2019 to help promote the role of professional women in Japan.

Heather McLeish is Heather McLeish is a Director EY Advisory focusing on business development in the Financial Services Sector. Heather started her career in EY Japan by building the Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) practice in 2015 and was responsible for the overall management, development and market impact of this business.

Prior to working with Ernst & Young in Japan she worked in financial services and real estate focused firms in Asia, living in both Hong Kong and Tokyo. Heather has experience doing projects in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Heather is American and began her career in venture capital in Silicon Valley. In early 2001 she moved to Japan and has been focused on building, launching and expanding small businesses.

Heather is an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce’s (ACCJ) Alternative Investments Committee, Executive Committee member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), a board member of Shine On Kids, a Japanese NPO helping children with long term illnesses and a frequent guest presenter on NHK’s ‘Cool Japan’ TV program.

Women in Japan – What Has Womenomics Achieved <Set A>

Slide 1. What are the main successes of the government’s “Womenomics” policy so far and what still needs to be done?

In this clip Heather looks at what she feels are some of the key accomplishments of the government’s Womenomics policy. The main victory, she believes, is that there is no longer any doubt on the need to get women more actively involved in the work force. Instead, she says, the focus today is on how to get appointed as senior executives and to board-level positions. The answer, she believes, is for corporations to have a clear strategic plan to achieve a much higher level of female participation. She says that change will not happen on its own. Like any corporate goal, planning is critical.

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