International Summit Serves as Platform for Examples of How to Get Ahead

Several women working for Dow in STEM fields shared their success stories during a panel discussion at the Women in Business Summit hosted in Tokyo on June 30 by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

About 1,000 people attended the event, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. Peter Jennings, Dow Japan president and Asia chairperson of the Dow Women's Innovation Network, hosted a panel discussion entitled Exploring Ways to Attract, Develop and Advance Women in STEM Fields. Joining him were employees from several Dow businesses, including Noriko Kajitani (Microbial Control), Chikayo Sekiguchi (Automotive), Keiko Yamazaki (Manufacturing) and Sayaka Ito (Water & Process Solutions).

“In the beginning of my career there were difficulties, as sometimes women were not recognized as capable science professionals,” Kajitani said during the discussion. “However, through struggles of trying to be innovative, I began to build confidence. Now I'm happy to see more female colleagues in this field. What I want to articulate is that I would not have been successful without my colleagues' support, who were in many cases, men. There are true heroes behind the scenes helping female professionals to succeed.”

Jennings said diversity is the life-blood of Dow’s success, putting it on par with safety and respect for people.

“There are as many capable STEM females as men – as you can see from the great examples of successful STEM stars in the panel today – as long as there is a level playing field,” Jennings said. “The industry should do a better job marketing science to make it more appealing and relatable, so we will have more talent pipelines in the future.”