Secretary Pritzker Joins Ambassador Kennedy and Japanese Leaders to Discuss Women’s Economic Contributions
To wrap up her visit to Japan, Secretary Pritzker joined U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and other female business leaders for a meeting over tea, to discuss government policies and best practices to overcome barriers to women’s full economic empowerment.
Since assuming office in December 2012, Prime Minister Abe has embraced "Womenomics," the understanding that the advancement of women in a nation's society directly and positively impacts its economic growth rate, as fundamental to boosting the country’s economic potential. According to some market analysts, Japan could expand its workforce by $8 million and increase its gross domestic product as much as 14 percent by raising women’s employment level to the same level as men. Despite these promising projections, Japan was ranked 105th out of 136 nations in the 2013 Global Gender Gap Report which was issued by the World Economic Forum and measures economic, political, education and health differences between men and women. The United States ranked 23rd.
With this in mind, the governments of the United States and Japan share a common goal of increasing women’s economic participation and contributions.
During the meeting, Secretary Pritzker expressed that she is encouraged by Prime Minister Abe’s current efforts to revitalize the Japanese economy. The Japanese government is working to set the standard by recruiting more women in government, increasing the availability of daycare and afterschool care, and encouraging the private sector to promote more women.
Secretary Pritzker also shared what she has learned from American senior executives and from her own experiences as a business leader for 27 years.
Women control two out of every three dollars spent in the world today, and Secretary Pritzker strongly believes that inclusiveness is a smart business strategy to achieve a competitive advantage, and that change must start at the top.