2015 Fellows Program - Enrollment Application

    Captionless Image

    New Deadline: Saturday, April 25, 2015


    "JWLI is a life-changing, eye-opening opportunity!" A testimonial by a past Fellow The Japanese Women's Leadership Initiative (JWLI) was founded in 2006 by three visionary women in Boston, Massachusetts by Atsuko Toko Fish, together with Mary Lassen and Catherine Crone Coburn. They created a four-week program in Boston for Japanese women that provides direct experience and training with successful nonprofit organizations. The program is designed to empower Japanese women to become leaders and make a difference through positive social change in Japanese society. In 2007, the Center for Gender in Organizations (CGO) at the School of Management, Simmons College, in Boston became the institutional partner of JWLI. CGO was selected because of its expertise in women leadership and nonprofit management as well as its history as the first business school in the world designed specifically for women. CGO is an international leader in research and practice focusing on the advancement of women through consulting, publications, speakers, training, and other programs. Each year, four women from Japan are selected to participate in a month-long, hands-on leadership training program in Boston. JWLI is funded by the Fish Family Foundation, administered by CGO, and operated in partnership with local nonprofit organizations. After returning to Japan, each participant is expected to make a difference in the community and share the knowledge they gained with other women and leaders.


    This program is in demand now in Japan, more than ever, especially after Tohoku was hit by an unprecedented disaster in March 2011. Recovery efforts by nonprofit organizations emerged immediately after the disaster, as a response to the lack of resources and the overwhelming volume of support necessary in the aftermath. Since then, the role of nonprofit organizations in Japan has been expanding tremendously to meet the increasing needs of individuals and communities in Tohoku and beyond. Japan continuously moves forward to provide women with more opportunities to take initiative and become leaders in various industries. "Womenomics" is one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's national strategies. He recognizes the importance of women as an untapped work force to strengthen Japan's economy. Now more than ever, it is essential for women leaders to have clear visions and the right skills to lead nonprofit organizations, and to understand the fast-changing needs within Japanese society.


    Established in 2012, the JWLI Association is a voluntary group based in Tokyo, Japan. The purpose of the Association is to foster further participation as well as women's empowerment and leadership in Japanese civil society. Association members are alumnae of the JWLI Fellow Program and are in both nonprofit and private sectors. The mission of the JWLI Association is to promote women’s empowerment and leadership. The Association provides resources, networks and support for its members to achieve their goal through workshops, and symposiums. The alumnae use the knowledge and experience from Boston to accomplish JWLI's mission to empower Japanese women to become leaders and to make positive social change.