TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program Year Seven Launches in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Naha
September 6 through 27, 2019 marked the start of the 2019-2020 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program (TMWLP) with opening sessions in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Naha. The first session of the program focused on laying the groundwork for a strong mentee-mentor relationship, the signature feature of this ten-month leadership development program that pairs 50 female Japanese university-level mentees with 50 mid-level career female mentors.
The opening sessions in each city began with welcome remarks from representatives of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates and MetLife. After a program orientation by the TOMODACHI Initiative, the participants took part in a two-hour workshop led by Janelle Sasaki, U.S.-Japan Council member and Director, Gender Brand, Marketing & Communications, Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Japan Area Leader, EY Japan. The workshop focused on making the most of the mentoring relationship by sharing practices of effective mentors and mentees and explaining the roles and responsibilities of the participants. Sitting together, the mentee-mentor pairs participated in a series of exercises to get to know one another and create solid foundations for their new mentoring relationships.
The TMWLP is currently in its seventh year thanks to MetLife Japan’s generous commitment and is expected to engage nearly 750 women by 2020. Subsequent sessions over the next year will teach participants how to better understand their leadership strengths, improve their communication skills, develop their brand, and work collaboratively. In March, 2020, the 50 mentees will travel to the United States for a week-long study trip to further develop and apply their skills and learn from leaders in a global environment. The program will culminate in the Annual Conference, where participants will share lessons learned, gain inspiration, and support one another to pursue their goals into the future. Over the course of their leadership journey with MetLife and TOMODACHI, these talented women will build the skills, confidence, and networks required for Japan’s female leaders to be successful.