TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Female Entrepreneurship Support Program: Discussions on Improving Work-Life Balance
On March 27, a symposium on “Work-Life Balance at Social Enterprises and Nonprofit Organizations” took place at Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd as part of the TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Female Entrepreneurship Support Program.
Japan has a significantly lower number of female entrepreneurs than other countries. In order to ameliorate this situation, the TOMODACHI Goldman Sachs Female Entrepreneurship Support Program aims to develop female entrepreneurs in the medium term who can act as role models for other women who aspire to become future leaders
The symposium began with remarks by Kathy Matsui, Vice-Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd., followed by presentations and a panel discussion. The presentations were led by Tomoko Shirai, Representative Trustee of Toybox, and Keisuke Motoki, Co-Founder of Kamonohashi Project, who discussed the results of their respective projects during this program. Ms. Shirai pointed out that one of the fundamental problems in achieving a work-life balance for working mothers in Japan is the increasing number of children waiting to get into publicly certified nursery schools. One solution she proposed to enhance work-life balance is for companies to create work manuals with guidelines to minimize the impact caused by the temporary absence of employees taking paternity and maternity leaves.
Afterwards, a productive panel discussion on “The Importance of Thinking about Work-Life Balance Today,” was led by three panelists: Tomoko Shirai of Toybox, Akiko Koda, Managing Director of the Human Capital Management Division and Head of the Executive Office at Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd., and Daichi Konuma, Chairman of the Board of CROSS FIELDS. Mr. Konuma shared his own experience of taking parental leave, while Ms. Koda discussed the importance of giving employees flexibility through such technological advancements as teleworking, and described her experience using the on-site company nursery school.