News and Announcements

Catalyst Announces New Vice President and Advisory Board in Japan to Accelerate Progress for Women in the Workforce

Tsukiko Tsukahara named Vice President, Catalyst Japan; Gerald Lema Chairs Catalyst Japan Advisory Board.

TOKYO (December 17, 2015)—Catalyst, the global expert on gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace, today announced the appointment of Tsukiko Tsukahara as Vice President, Catalyst Japan, and member of the new Catalyst Japan Advisory Board, chaired by Gerald Lema, Managing Partner and Representative of Cylon Capital, a private investment group based in Tokyo and Palo Alto.

The appointments strengthen Catalyst’s ability to help companies worldwide become more gender-balanced in ways that work within regional cultures.

“As momentum and legislative demand to increase women’s workplace representation grows in Japan and worldwide, we are pleased to have Tsukiko Tsukahara, Gerald Lema, and our exceptional group of board members join Catalyst’s global efforts to drive change,” says Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst. “Our research shows that inclusion has the potential to unlock the innovation that will propel companies and economies forward.  As Japan commits to making its workplaces more inclusive by tapping into the talents of its women, Catalyst is here with the expertise and tools and to help companies make it happen.” 

Based in Tokyo, Ms. Tsukahara will lead Catalyst Japan’s strategic operations, working closely with member companies, government organizations, and the academic community to ensure that women and men have equal opportunity to succeed and advance. She brings to her role years of experience executing organizational and cultural change, having worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for more than 10 years, with both Japanese and multinational companies. Prior to BCG she worked for Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism handling large national projects. Ms. Tsukiko has an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA in Economics from Tokyo University. She is married and has three young children.

“As a working mother in Japan’s male-oriented culture, I am proof of what is possible, and proud to lead Catalyst’s mission to expand opportunities for women in corporate Japan,” says Ms. Tsukahara.  “Catalyst’s practical solution-based tools, global network, and 53 years of experience help companies leverage all available talent, benefitting the organizations and the country’s economy.” Catalyst resources include diagnostic metrics, Japanese and global data and best practices, events and speaking engagements, and workshops and consulting to help transform mindsets, behavior, workplaces, and lives.

The Catalyst Japan Advisory Board, led by Gerald Lema, provides guidance and support on Catalyst’s work in Japan. A longtime member of Catalyst’s Board of Directors, Mr. Lema has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical, diagnostics, healthcare and consumer experience on five continents. For 10 years prior to joining Cylon Capital, Mr. Lema was President Asia Pacific and Chairman, Japan, for Baxter International; prior to that he worked for 18 years at Abbott Laboratories, where his last position was Corporate Vice President, Asia Pacific, and Chairman/Representative Director, Abbott Japan, in Tokyo.

“While there is widespread support in Japan for improving the role of women in all spheres of life, there is still much to be done to make women’s participation higher and more impactful,” says Mr. Lema. “Catalyst brings the research, experience and practical tools to share with all types of organizations in Japan to increase women’s representation in a meaningful way.”

In addition to Mr. Lema and Ms. Tsukahara, the Catalyst Japan Advisory Board includes:

  • Yukari Inoue, Managing Director, Japan and Korea, Kellogg Company (Japan) G.K.

  • Kaoru Kashima, Executive Board Member, Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC

  • Kathy Matsui, Vice Chair, Chief Japan Equity Strategist, Co-head of Macro Research Asia, Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd.

  • David R. Smith, President, Johnson & Johnson K.K. Vision Care Company

  • Laura Younger, Executive Director, The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

  • Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst, who was recently named one of the top 10 most powerful business people in Canada by Canadian Business Magazine

Since its launch in May 2014, Catalyst Japan has more than doubled the number of member companies in the region—increasing from 20 to 44. “We look forward to partnering in our mission to make sustainable change for women and the economy,” says Ms. Gillis. “Together, we have the ability to make what was once unimaginable now possible in Japan.”

Learn more.

Join Catalyst Japan.

About Catalyst Japan
Founded in 2014, Catalyst Japan shares its knowledge and solutions about diversity and inclusion in the workplace with the Japanese business community and government, helping transform the workforce with the power of women.

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 member organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.

Media Contacts:
Japan: Natsuko Mochizuki, Moonlight Wave Corporation, +81 3 3440 1550
United States: Ellen Parlapiano, Senior Director, Communications, Catalyst, New York, +1 646 388 7778