July 26, 2018


On July 26, 2018, WEConnect International joined their Japan Coalition Members: Intel Corporation, Accenture, and Johnson & Johnson in Tokyo to kick-off supplier diversity and inclusion efforts aimed at creating greater market opportunities for Japanese women. The event convened stakeholders committed to women’s economic progress in Japan and provided information on how to get involved with inclusive sourcing ahead of the WEConnect International conference in Tokyo, December 5th.

Setsu Suzuki, Project Director, WEConnect International in Japan, organized the event which included additional WEConnect International Corporate Members, local corporations, government representatives, women-owned businesses, global partners, and other supporters. She also ensured that an additional 20 women-business owners could join the event virtually.

The agenda included a presentation on the launch of WEConnect International’s Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification in Japan and showcased the progress of the Coalition Members’ efforts to support Supplier Diversity and Inclusion.

Noyori Yasuji, Program Manager, Japan Equipment Supply TMG Global Supply Manager, Intel Corporation, provided an overview of Intel’s supplier diversity and inclusion efforts around the world and how they are implementing transformational change in their supply chains. Hyojin Moon, Senior Manager, Procurement Solutions, Accenture, presented on the development of their diverse supplier training and mentorship programs, highlighting that 15% of Accenture’s spend is with graduates from these programs. Vincent Mous, Regional Senior Director, and Yasuko Doguchi, PMO Manager, explained Johnson & Johnson’s Credo and the link between business values and business objectives. The Coalition Members provided data-driven business strategies that set the standard for supplier diversity and inclusion across the globe.

Japanese women entrepreneurs discussed how they have overcome the challenges of growing a business and how they plan to engage with WEConnect International’s network. Makiko Tachimori, Vice Chair of the Women’s Committee, American Chamber of Commerce Japan, and business owner, outlined the different policy changes and laws that have been enacted by the Japanese government over the past 30 years to support women, pointing out that more regulations are not necessary – “action is.”

WEConnect International’s Regional Director of Asia Pacific, Edith Cecchini, and Project and Research Manager for Japan, Carlhey Bolz, presented the business case for Supplier Diversity and Inclusion programs, making direct connections to the Japanese market and highlighting the urgency of elevating women entrepreneurs.

In closing, the attendees coalesced around this movement to support women-owned businesses and to taking steps to ensure that Japan does not remain #114 in the gender equality index[1].

For more information on WEConnect International’s project in Japan, please contact Carlhey Bolz at cbolz@weconnectinternational.org or Setsu Suzuki at ssuzuki@weconnectinternational.org and follow us on Facebook. Visit our corporate member page to learn more about supplier diversity and inclusion and the importance of buying women-owned.

WEConnect International’s activities in Japan are made possible by the support of Intel Corporation, Accenture, and Johnson & Johnson.


[1] The World Economic Forum, “The Global Gender Gap Report 2017,” http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2017.pdf.