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MESSAGE A Word from the President

President Haruko Nishida

After the unprecedented disaster of March 11, 2011, Women Help Women served as a gateway for emergency support from female entrepreneurs in Korea, with that new initiative becoming an incubator for ideas. At the invitation of Sung-Joo Kim, founder and CVO of Korea’s Sungjoo International Group, Japanese female entrepreneurs who had met Ms. Kim at the Global Summit of Women (an international conference also known as “Davos for Women”) worked together to provide emergency support to areas stricken by the disaster. We who were involved on the Japanese side took the opportunity to begin activities intended not just to provide emergency support, but also to aid the recovery and rebirth truly necessary after such a disaster.

On March 11, 2011, the day of the disaster, we learned the powerlessness of humankind in the face of nature. But at the same time, we also learned humanity’s caring nature – a priceless experience which brought the world together. Inspired by this experience, we plan to continue our activities indefinitely, relying on the meaning of the words “Women Help Women” as our guiding concept: Women across the world joining together to help each other and survive together.

We believe that it is important to help each other with the handiwork we as women know so well, creating new economic value and contributing to the creation of a better society. The women of the Tohoku Region have been able not to just earn a living through their work, but to feel useful, a reason to live, and the pride that comes based on these values. The people who have purchased products created by women in the disaster areas have felt satisfaction with their purchases, happy to purchase an item which has strong significance to them, and also to make a purchase which itself gives meaning. We intend to continue showing how a single job can connect to amazing value creation.

Currently, we are working toward the revival of Tohoku communities, crossing international borders and utilizing women’s special talents. The manual labor of women in the Tohoku Region contributes to the promotion, revival, and preservation of traditional culture, in addition to generating new values. In concrete terms, we are contributing with the latest technology, specialist skills (sewing, design), specialist business skills (global branding/marketing, management consulting, and market research), providing education, and offering global market development support.

Just as our name “Women Help Women” signifies, we strive to create social values for each other, sharing our own resources with the people who need them right now. We also work to provide the same values and resources for the next generation, as in the phrases of “pay it forward” and “bank of good will.” Our ultimate goal is “creating a women’s global happiness value chain,” and we hope to continue developing, step-by-step, all kinds of activities to fulfill our goal of working together to create new values.

VISION WHW’s Goals

  • Providing Information

    We provide the education and business information necessary for women to gain independence

  • Creating a Supportive Environment

    We support the creation of an environment in which women can work in a way that fits their lifestyle

  • Global Development

    We assist introduction to the world market, of what women want to create

OFFICIALS The Women Help Women Board of Directors

President Haruko Nishida

After graduating from Tokyo University, Haruko Nishida worked as a researcher at a think tank, engaging in macro-industry analysis and social research in the fields of telecommunications, education and regional development She studied abroad at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and then began working at McKinsey in 1992. Beginning as a consultant, she became Research Manager for the North Asia Region, while at the same time writing and lecturing externally regarding “knowledge creation and open innovation,” the topics, which she has extensively researched with academic people, such as Ikujiro Nonaka for over 10 years.

As a representative of Office Phronesis since 2011, she has dealt with research and consulting services, while also contributing to the establishment of IMPACT Foundation Japan, a not for profit organization, which works alongside entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to promote startups and social innovation. In 2015, Haruko Nishida spun off a program which IMPACT Foundation Japan had run, offering career support for women from areas affected by disaster, and became the President of Women Help Women. She is engaged in promoting woman-led startups and social enterprises.

Founding Director Ann Sado

Ann Sado is a 3rd-generation Japanese-American U.S. citizen, born in Tokyo, with permanent residence in Japan. After graduating from Occidental College in the United States, she earned her master’s degree at Waseda University. She served as Marketing Manager for Estée Lauder Japan’s Aramis Division, as well as Group Product Manager for Product and Brand Development Divisions and Marketing Manager for L’Oréal Japan’s Lancome, Helena Rubinstein, and Institut de Beaute. She also served as Vice President of the Apparel Division for Reebok Japan.

In 1995, she established A TO Z Sado Enterprises Ltd., social enterprise where she plays many roles: Marketing, PR/communications, Executive Coaching, and Diversity & Inclusion management consulting, as well as keynote speaker/lecturer for NPO businesses and universities.

From 2004-2011, as Vice President for the Board of Directors of NPO GEWEL, she contributed to raising awareness of executive leadership, diversity and inclusion in corporations promoting women and female entrepreneurs.

Auditor Narikou Kaneshiro / Sung H. Kim

A Permanent Resident of Korean lineage in Japan, she graduated from Wako University’s Faculty of Economics before studying at FDU in the United States.

She served as Director of Food Industry Management Planning at Kincoh Co., Ltd., as well as Sports Instructor at physicalfitnessLabella. After moving to the United States, she established an advertising agency which published a magazine focused on connecting with the Korean and Japanese communities in the United States. At that company, she engaged in advertising, marketing, international event planning and educational development planning, and the introduction of companies to foreign markets.

She established IHIA KK, which specializes in support consulting for international relocation, international education development planning, and international HR planning.

She is the founder of NPO KIFA, and serves as its representative.She is currently engaged in developing international children’s educational programming, as well as production for fashion and design events.

Director Michiko Sugita

Michiko Sugita is a graduate of the Waseda University School of Commerce. She spent her elementary school years in New York in the United States, and relocated to Beijing, China after graduation from university. She worked in in-house English/Chinese interpretation and international project development for fields as diverse as sports entertainment, real estate, and academia, before founding a company to provide multilingual business support services to Japanese businesses breaking into foreign markets.

She is currently the President of La Cle Global Services K.K., as well as an Executive Board Member of India Center.

Director Sachiko Fujii

Sachiko Fujii is a graduate of the Tokyo University of Science Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She has worked at research facilities for Japanese detergent manufacturers. After gaining experience in positions such as information service at a Swiss pharmaceutical company, she took charge of new products in 1988 as the first female Product Manager in the industry. She was responsible for product marketing for 20 years, during which she successfully launched two new products.

In 2006, she established the Diversity Office at that company, and introduced diversity as a corporate strategy. Since retiring in 2008, she has participated in the initiatives of NPO GEWEL as a Member of the Board of Directors and as Representative Director (2011-2014).

Her fields of interest include implementation of practical diversity and inclusion, the state of leadership, creating an environment of happiness and health, and general marketing. She strives to “pay it forward” to the next generation.

Director Sayaka Watanabe

Sayaka Watanabe majored in Asian Studies at International Christian University. She completed the Tokyo University Graduate Program on Human Security. Seeking to develop a way to solve social problems through business, she joined IBM right after graduation.

While contributing to new enterprise formulation, business improvement, and CO2 reduction projects, she also took part in planning the startup of community leading and pro bono work focused on the company environment and society. She left IBM in June of 2011. Since her time at IBM, she has assisted in planning the establishment of both the Japan branch of the American NPO Kopernik, and the NPO Soket. In November of 2011, she established the private company re:terra, and served as its Representative Director. In May of 2013, she established re:terra, and serves as its Representative Director.

She is a 2013 and 2014 finalist for the Nikkei Social Initiative Award.

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