TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Holds Virtual Workshops ~Empowering Through Technology~
The 2019-2020 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program culminated in a virtual panel discussion titled “Own your Life, Design your Future,” on Friday, May 1. This was the last of three virtual workshops organized by TMWLP in lieu of the traditional Annual Conference.
Leading up to the last workshop, four mentors representing each of the program cities shared their life stories in a series of virtual interviews. The same mentors were invited as panelists for the final virtual workshop. Through the twists and turns of the life journeys of the panelists, the workshop conveyed the empowering message that the essence of life ownership resides not with being able to control, but with being able to choose how to respond, particularly in light of current circumstances.
It is in that response participants embody the five core competencies of TMWLP: Self-Awareness, Collaboration, Paying-It-Forward, Global Perspective, and Resilience.
Reiterating these core competencies, the previous two workshops addressed in more depth the importance of staying resilient and having a global mindset. The virtual workshop on resiliency, Reaching Out: Staying Strong Through Connection, led by Lumina Learning Japan, addressed the importance of nurturing your best and strongest self through positive small actions and communication. Building on the collective learning on leadership in the program, the workshop on Global Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, led by EY Japan, took a deeper look into how leadership is defined globally, the role diversity and inclusion play in being a global leader, the challenges faced in insuring diversity and inclusion, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in Japan.
This was the first time TMWLP organized virtual interactive workshops across cities, highlighting valuable lessons and previously unknown advantages of using a virtual platform. Participants realized that the ability to see challenges as means of growth is critical for future leaders and that, despite its many challenges, the global pandemic is an opportunity to lead and inspire resiliency and strength in local communities.
As mentee Chika Mizuta described her experience participating in the virtual workshops: “I’m very grateful for TOMODACHI for hosting these virtual sessions, because all of them have been very inspiring. They were very relevant to our current situation, teaching us how we can stay connected virtually even while social distancing. It was uplifting and also motivating to be able to meet and have discussions with mentees and mentors. I feel that this pandemic has paradoxically brought all of us closer together as we all face the same challenge we’ve never come across… The topics of resilience and leadership also have become even more relevant, and it gave me a new perspective to consider this a chance instead of a challenge.”
This program is made possible by the generous partnership of MetLife.