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Salesforce Japan Empowers Women to Build Thriving Careers

March 14, 2024

Japan is one of the societies that has struggled to narrow the gender gap compared to other industrialized nations and its Asian counterparts. The latest Global Gender Gap Index, published by the World Economic Forum in June 2023, found that Japan fell to a record-low ranking of 125th out of 146 countries — falling nine places from the previous year. Division of traditional gender roles is still deeply woven into the fabric of Japanese society and a low number of women tech workers and STEM undergraduates is a serious hindrance in the industry’s efforts to employ more women.

In response, Salesforce Japan is tackling these challenges head-on by providing a supportive environment built around our core value of equality. This includes equal pay for equal work, career support and training, global parental leave, tuition assistance, and more.

Watch or read (or both!) the inspirational stories of just a few of the women from Salesforce Japan as they share their journeys of finding career success:

 

Mio Yamamoto - Sr. Strategic Account Manager, Enterprise Sales

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“Our culture helps me as a mother and as an AE, taking on different endeavors.”

Mio previously worked in tech sales, serving government and public sectors, but made a move to Salesforce in 2014. She was inspired by the company’s reverence for customer success and its overall culture — both of which inspire her to strive for more.

“Whenever I have new business ideas and want to take initiative, my managers and project members are supportive. It’s an ideal work environment for employees to take on different endeavors,” she says. Additionally, members of her sales team encourage each other to win as a team. “There’s a culture of having each other’s back.”

It is in this kind of environment Mio thrives as an AE, all the while taking multiple parental leaves and bringing up two children, now 2 years old and 4 years old. “My previous employer had similar parenting support and benefits, systematically speaking. But here at Salesforce, feels comfortable taking advantage of these benefits, regardless of their gender. The idea [of both parents actively participating in childcare] seems to be the norm.”

Mio says acquiring new knowledge and expertise and making friends along the way is the best part of her job. She is excited to continue challenging herself as an AE, and she’s looking forward to the new adventures ahead.

 

 


Akiko Nagata - Alliances, Partner Account Senior Administrator

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“I've learned that I don't have to limit myself to conventional paths, regardless of my background.”

Akiko’s love for traveling and her hometown of Kyoto was the reason she entered the tourism industry as a new grad. She was passionate about promoting regional tourism, but she felt she was not always supported by her conservative Japanese company when trying to initiate new ideas.

“I loved my job, but I was the nail that stuck out. After a while, I started to realize what my professional strengths were and wanted to put myself in an environment where I could utilize my assets and keep it real.” This inspired her shift to Salesforce, but she admits she had apprehensions in the beginning. She had never worked for a global company or in tech. Despite the slight learning curve, Akiko was quickly embraced by her new team.

“My manager and teammates are supportive and hear me out without bias. They even say my past experience as an IT novice brings new perspectives to the job when supporting our financier clients. I’m really thankful for the encouragement,” she says. “I aspire to become a manager like my boss further down in my career.”

Akiko finds Salesforce to be pragmatic and future-oriented. The work has taught her she can be herself and that she doesn’t have to limit herself to conventional paths, regardless of background.

 


Satomi Tanaka - Manager, Technical Support Engineering

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“I've acquired many new skills through parenthood, such as resilience and flexibility. Those skills can definitely be adopted in work and lead you to personal growth.”

Returning to the workforce after 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom was tougher than Satomi initially thought, even with an impressive CV, studded with extensive system integration experience.

“Because of my decade-long career break, there were many instances when I couldn’t get to the interview stage. Even when I did, I was often asked how I would balance work and being the main child-rearer at home.” At Salesforce on the other hand, she was able to make a smooth transition to her new full time job. Colleagues were always willing to provide support, and thorough enablement courses equipped her with all the necessary knowledge.

When asked whether she had any worries about working in a full-time position after a decade-long career break, she says she doesn’t see those years as a break, but as a period of development: “I’ve acquired many new skills through parenthood, such as resilience and flexibility. Those skills can definitely be adopted in work and lead you to personal growth.”

Satomi now leads a team of talents with diverse backgrounds as a manager.

 


Kumiko Makuniya - Regional VP, Enterprise Sales

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“When a wave comes, ride it.”

Kumiko, now in her ninth year at Salesforce, has a motto she lives by: “when a wave comes, ride it.” She came across the phrase when she was reading a book during her pregnancy and it resonated. When a friend introduced her to Salesforce during her maternity leave, Kumiko decided to “ride” the opportunity.

Salesforce’s sales method and the type of relationships salespersons made with clients were a welcome change for Kumiko, who already had a well-established career selling to financial institutions. “We get to propose solutions that directly tie to client revenue or a system that can revolutionize their business. I feel very passionate about what I do.”

“Furthermore, the company encourages you to take up challenges and backs you up. This aspect of my work is very appealing. I’ve been blessed with opportunities like undertaking new business projects and working overseas.”

Kumiko has been regional VP of enterprise sales for four years, but even in her senior position, Kumiko is still willing to take more chances. She is now taking an MBA course in her aspiration to become a more influential leader. She says she wants to become a role model for women, not just in business but also for her daughter as well.
“Even when something seems too difficult and you don’t feel confident, nothing is impossible. Ride the wave when it comes. Be brave and enjoy the ride.”

If you are interested in a career with Salesforce Japan, check out our open roles today!

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