Cisco SVP of HQ Sales – Japan, Yasufumi Hirai, and I had the privilege to meet Sheryl Sandberg earlier this month at a private luncheon reception sponsored by Nikkei Weekly News. We were so inspired by her. She gave me a hug when I mentioned I was from Cisco. She says “John Chambers has been so supportive with Lean In and Cisco is doing amazing things.” Prior to the luncheon, she met with Japan Prime Minister Abe.
Sheryl mentioned she is not an expert in Japan but understands that the challenges for Japanese women are much harder. She clearly did her homework on Japan provided useful data on Japan’s diversity demographics. Her advice to Japan:
1. Address stereotypes and bias that hold women back. For example, women are viewed as caregivers and nurturers. Men are viewed as providers.
2. Change corporate policies like the gender pay gap, long work hours and re-invite women back after maternity leave. Make men feel more comfortable working with women.
3. Achieve more balance in the home.
Enjoy the photo! The Ustream of the Japan Evening Session is below. Sheryl presents at 1 min. 30 sec. I truly felt her positive energy.
Global Women’s Leadership Summit
Video streaming by Ustream