Women Leading Business and Policy Share Lessons on How Japan and the U.S. Can Overcome Gender Disparity

Tapping Potential: Encouraging Women’s Empowerment in the U.S. & Japan

Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 6:00 pm, at Japan Society


New York, NY - Calls for greater presence of women in the upper echelons of corporate and political power in the U.S. and Japan have grown stronger as globalization encourages greater workplace diversity and official endorsements have been made by Prime Minister Abe and officials in the US. While the workforce participation rate of women in Japan has grown, rates of employment in managerial and executive roles remain significantly below the average of the OECD countries.

Tapping Potential: Encouraging Women’s Empowerment in the U.S. & Japan brings together Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat and Yoriko Kawaguchi, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs and special advisor to the Prime Minister, to examine the potential for and challenges of female empowerment and work-life balance. Topics will range from quota systems and extended child-care leave as solutions, how Japan might adopt policies that have proved effective in the U.S., and reasons why both countries remain hindered by gender disparity. Moderated by Columbia University's Carol Gluck, the panel takes place Wednesday, April 2, at Japan Society.

Agenda: 6:00 pm, registration; 6:30, lecture, panel discussion and Q&A; 8:00-8:30, reception.

Admission: $15. Japan Society Corporate Members are entitled to a designated number of FREE admissions based on their company's membership level. Discounted rates are available for additional Japan Society Corporate Members, certain individual members, government officials and academics. To register or for more information, please email, visit, or call 212-715-1208.

Prof. Yoriko Kawaguchi (speaker) is a former Member of Japan's House of Councilors for the Liberal Democratic Party from 2005 to 2013. She was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan on foreign affairs from 2004 to 2005; Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and Minister of the Environment from 2000 to 2002. She also served as Co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament from 2008 to 2010; Prior to this, Kawaguchi was a Managing Director of Suntory Ltd, Director General of Global Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and Minister at the Embassy of Japan to the United States. She has received numerous awards for her work, most recently the Anniversary Medal for a major contribution to global security promotion and non-proliferation regime by K. Kadyrzhanov, Director General, National [?] Nuclear Center in 2011.

Ruth Porat (speaker) has been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Morgan Stanley since January 2010. She previously served as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking from September 2003 to December 2009 and Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group from September 2006 through December 2009. Throughout the financial crisis, Ruth was responsible for the firm's coverage of financial institutions and governments globally. She led the Morgan Stanley teams retained to advise the U.S. Treasury regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the New York Federal Reserve Bank with respect to AIG. She serves on the Operating and Management Committees. Porat is a member of the U.S. Treasury’s Borrowing Advisory Committee. She is Vice Chair of Stanford University’s Board of Trustees and serves on Stanford’s Council of the School of Humanities and Sciences. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees of the Economic Club of New York, the Bretton Woods Committee, and the Business Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Carol Gluck (moderator) is George Sansom Professor of History and Professor of East Asian Language and Cultures, Department of History and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Chair, Weatherhead East Asian Institute Publications Program. She writes on modern Japan and East Asia, twentieth-century global history, World War II, and the history-writing and public memory, and has taught at Columbia for more than thirty years. She has contributed to innovations in undergraduate education at Columbia and around the country, most recently in a four-year $2-million project on Expanding East Asian Studies ( A prize-winning historian, her most recent books are Thinking with the Past: Modern Japan and History (University of California Press, 2013) and Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon, coedited with Anna Tsing (Duke University Press, 2009). She holds positions as elected member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, cochair of the Trustees Emeriti of the Asia Society, board of directors of Japan Society, board of the Weatherhead Foundation, and numerous editorial boards and national committees.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and M at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) For further information call 212-832-1155 or visit

This event is presented with support from Citi, Deloitte, United Airlines, Mizuho Financial Group, Toyota Motor North America, and WL Ross & Co. LLC.

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Media Contacts:
Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205,
Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

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