Tokyo – December 6, 2012 – Nikkei WOMAN, a women's career and lifestyle magazine published by Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Kohei Osada; Tokyo) announced the ten winners of its Woman of the Year 2013. The Award is to honor accomplishments of women who showed outstanding performance in various quarters.
The grand prize went to the 41-year-old President of Daiya Seiki, Ms. Takako Suwa, who led the success of management reforms in her family-run factory bolstering Japan's monozukuri (manufacturing) craftsmanship.
Ms. Suwa, after the experience of "being laid off twice" by the former President who was also her father, became President at the age of 32 following the pass away of her father. Since then, she promoted various management reforms in just nine years and steered the growth of her company. As a result, Daiya Seiki increased its sales for three consecutive years, overcoming such crises as the Lehman Shock, the Great East Japan Earthquake and historic appreciation of yen. Moreover, she aggressively discloses core information on management reforms at her company, including introduction of originally-developed product management system and approaches to human resource development. Her attitude towards continuously tackling the challenges that Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises are facing to, such as accession of skilled technologies and fostering of young engineers, is gathering attentions from even the Japanese government as well as her industry competitors.
The Grand Prize winner of the Woman of the Year 2013, Ms. Takako Suwa
The runner-up winners were Ms. Akiko Shirai, Assistant Manager, Advertising and Promotion Department and CRM Promotion Department of Lawson, and Ms. Minami Tsubouchi, Executive Director of Global Fund for Education, a general incorporated foundation. Ms. Shirai played an active role as a pioneer of sales promotion strategies using social media, and contributed to increase sales for Lawson through gathering 5.3 million SNS members. Ms. Tsubouchi was selected for her commitment to foster next-generation leaders from young victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
This year's Award winners were;
Grand Prize (Leader Category)
Ms. Takako Suwa, President, Daiya Seiki
Ms. Suwa, who shined as a "star" of Japanese local factories, was recognized for success of various management reforms amid economic downturn.
Ms. Minami Tsubouchi, Executive Director, Global Fund for Education
Ms. Tsubouchi was honored for educational support targeting young victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and commitment to foster next-generation leaders.
(Hit Maker Category)
Ms. Akiko Shirai, Assistant Manager, Advertising and Promotion Department and CRM Promotion Department, Lawson
Ms. Shirai pioneered in using social media for advertisement and sales promotion, and led the success of sales promotion gathering 5.3 million SNS members.
Ms. Reiko Abe, Senior Project Manager, Railway & Mass Transit Department, Global Consulting H.Q. , Oriental Consultants
Ms. Abe plays an important role as a top leader of quality management for large-scale subway project in India.
Ms. Chikako Sekine, Executive Officer, Senior Director of Beauty, Corporate Officer in charge of Beauty Creation Research Center and Shiseido Beauty Academy, Shiseido
Ms. Sekine manages 21,600 Shiseido beauty consultants worldwide, and promotes Japanese "omotenashi" hospitality in the global field.
(Hit Maker Category)
Ms. Ayumi Inagaki, UX Team, UX Design Department, Web Services Business Division, NHN Japan
Ms. Inagaki leads the development team for LINE, a social application boasting 36 million users across Japan.
Ms. Sayaka Kume, Brand Marketing Department, Marketing & Development
Division, Beverage & Food Business Group Japan, Suntory Beverage & Food
Ms. Kume spurred a big hit of "Orangina", a fruit carbonated drink from France, with the annual sales of over 8 million cases in Japan.
(Career Create Category)
Ms. Takako Endo, Representative Director, TWHY TWHY
Ms. Endo cooperated with a rice cracker factory that was close to being out of business, and using SNS, launched a new type of popular rice cracker store.
Ms. Chiaki Sakurai, Operating Officer, Leader, Cosmetics Department, Nutraceuticals Division, Otsuka Pharmaceutical
After joining the company as a secretary, Ms. Sakurai contributed to the success of new product launch and became an Operating Officer at the age of 38.
Ms. Hiroko Samejima, Representative Director, andu amet
Ms. Samejima directs the high-end brand for bags fully made in Ethiopia, using quality Ethiopian sheepskin.
The Woman of the Year aims to contribute to;
1. Present a role model for working women
2. Highlight an individual's achievements that are often buried within an organization
3. Capture the edge of changes of the times through accomplishments of outstanding women
It is an annual award that Nikkei WOMAN presents since 1999 and now is in its 14th year. The candidates were selected for three categories; Leader, Hit Maker and Career Create, by the editorial team and the panel of judges for each category. Then the candidates were screened according to the five evaluation criteria, and the Grand Prize and Runner-up Prize winners were finalized based on the total points of the five judges and the editorial team. The profiles of winners and details on the screening process and results are posted on the January issue of Nikkei WOMAN on sale from December 7, 2012.
The panel of judges for the Woman of the Year 2013:
(Judge for Leader Category)
Mr. Kiyomi Saito, President & CEO, JBond Totan Securities
(Judge for Hit Maker Category)
Mr. Hiroshi Tanaka, Professor, Chuo University Business School (Chuo Graduate School of Strategic Management)
(Judge for Career Create Category)
Ms. Mariko Kono, CEO, Career Network
Ms. Keiko Kiyama, Trustee and Secretary General, JEN
Mr. Michihiko Yanai, Creative Director
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and business performance. Those forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and the company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, general business and economic conditions, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, cancellation or delay of customer orders.
Nikkei Business Publications is part of The Nikkei group, which has newspaper publication as its main business and three additional business divisions of digital media, publishing and broadcasting under its umbrella. Covering a wide variety of specialized areas including business, computer, electronics, construction, services and medicine, Nikkei Business Publications, in July 2008, merged with its sister company, Nikkei Home Publishing, to also bring consumer magazines into its portfolio.