Japanese Women's Leadership Initiative (JWLI) 10th Anniversary

November 03, 2016

SOM Celebrates the JWLI's 10th Anniversary

JWLI EventOn October 4th, The School of Management celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative, a partnership between the Fish Family Foundation and Simmons College that has enriched and benefited individuals, organizations and Japanese society. Celebrants packed the Linda K. Paresky Center for an evening of ceremony, Japanese culture, and creating change. 
The event was moderated by Dean Patricia Deyton, Academic Director and organizing partner of the JWLI at Simmons.

JWLI brings emerging women leaders from Japan to Boston to receive four weeks of intensive hands-on experience and training in nonprofit management and leadership development.  

Patricia Deyton, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at the SOM and Director of the Center for Gender in Organizations shares that: “The goal of the program is for the JWLI Fellows to share the knowledge and experience they acquired in Boston with other women and social sector leaders within Japan, a country where the nonprofit industry has only recently begun to burgeon. We have graduated 38 women from our program and are so proud of the work they have done and will continue to do for Japanese society.”

The event was opened by Simmons College President Helen Drinan, whose remarks on the critical necessity of of women being agents of change set the stage nicely for the presentations of Tomoe Yamada and Kiyono Yagami Sakakibara, two JWLI alumnae who flew in from Japan specifically for this event.  Ms. Yamada and Ms. Yagami Sakakibara presented on the incredible work they have done and tangible changes they have made in their country since completing the JWLI program in 2012.

Special guest Rokuichiro Michii, Consul-General of Japan in Boston, gave remarks about the importance of women’s leadership in Japan and in Boston and shared the work his office is doing to promote women’s advancement.

Atsuko Toko Fish, a Trustee of the Fish Family Foundation and founder of the JWL Program, and Dean Deyton spoke movingly about their journey in JWLI and the many successes they have seen together throughout the past decade.  

In her remarks, Ms. Fish said of her partnership with Dean Deyton and their joint vision for JWLI: “We recognized the challenges of gender and women's role in Japan. At the same time, we saw this great opportunity for Japanese women to become determined leaders for innovative social change in the nonprofit sector.”

The JWLI Tenth Anniversary Celebration included a graduation ceremony for the 2016 Fellows: Mami Kishigami, Mio Kojima, Ibuki Ozawa, and Rie Sawanobori.

The SOM community would like to congratulate the 2016 Fellows on completing the program, and would also like to congratulate and thank Ms. Fish and Dean Deyton for their work, leadership, and success JWLI.  Congratulations on a wonderful ten years!