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 – The Role of Foreign Companies <Set C>

Slide 1. How have foreign companies reacted to Womenomics? Has it helped in the hiring of more women?

In this clip, Heather talks about how foreign companies in Japan have tackled the problem of promoting more women. She notes that for many foreign firms, Japan is behind in terms of their global standards. At the same time, they have sometimes found that women in Japan will refuse promotions that are offered because of the extra stress they involve and that solid discussion is needed on both sides. She also says that for some foreign companies, the government’s Womenomics drive is helping to spur other workplace changes that traditional Japanese executives might have rejected otherwise.

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