News and Announcements

Entering Japan Marketplace, Catalyst Honors Prime Minister Abe

ACCJ, USJC, and Ambassador Kennedy laud Catalyst’s global expertise in expanding opportunities for women in business

TOKYO (May 27, 2014)—Catalyst announces that it is bringing its global expertise in expanding opportunities for women and business to the Japan market, with the launch of Catalyst Japan, building on the momentum of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s focus on women as key to Japan’s economic growth. Today, Catalyst  presented a special commendation to Prime Minister Abe for making the advancement of women a priority in Japan at the USJC-ACCJ Women in Business Summit before an audience of nearly 700 business leaders and dignitaries, including the Honorable Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

“Japan is making the serious connection between women’s advancement and economic growth, and our entry into the country supports and celebrates this milestone and the forward-thinking policies aimed at increasing the number of women in the Japanese workforce,” said Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst.  “We are proud to share with Japan our global knowledge from the multi-national companies in our membership, and showcase Japan’s outstanding efforts and initiatives to the rest of the world. Together, we can tap into the talent of Japan’s underutilized workforce of women, and their power to transform the economy.”

Changing demographics—a low fertility rate, growing elderly population, and shrinking working-age population—have significantly affected Japan’s workforce, and the country’s population is expected to decrease by 32.3% by 2060. While many Japanese women want to stay in the workforce, 60% of them stop working after their first child, due largely to a daycare shortage and a male-oriented workplace culture that often demands long work weeks. Catalyst will partner with the Japanese business community to create workplaces and programs that enable working women in Japan to reach their full career potential and earning power. 

As the global advocate for women’s advancement in business, and with over 700 corporate members in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and now Japan, Catalyst equips companies with the insights and tools to achieve gender equality and enact real change in the workplace.  Catalyst recognizes innovative organizational initiatives addressing the recruitment, development, and advancement of women with its annual Catalyst Award.

“It is a privilege to act as a resource for the Japanese government and business community as they continue to advocate for greater diversity in the workforce,” said Ms. Gillis. “Together, we can be catalysts for change, not only for women and their workplaces, but for families, communities, and the overall economy and success of 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 them 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 globally. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 700 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.

Media Contacts

In Japan:
Natsuko Mochizuki, Moonlight Wave Corporation; [email protected]

In other parts of the world:
Susan Nierenberg: +1 646 388 7744; [email protected]
Ellen Parlapiano: +1 646 388 7778; [email protected]