Kumi Sato is a CEO in Japan, which is a nation known for its male-dominated corporate ranks. For 31 years, Sato has been the president of Cosmo, a PR company her parents founded in 1960. Instead of inheriting it, Sato bought Cosmo when she was only 27. “Because I had seen too many bad cases where the parent is staying at the company as a chairman, or breathing down the neck of the president.”
Based on her experience as a pioneer in corporate Japan, all while raising three children, Sato has also been advocating for workplace equality. In 2013, she spoke at TEDxMarunouchiWomen and talked about “Why Can’t Japanese Women Have it All?”. TEDxMarunouchiWomen tells the stories of challenges that women face in the workplace and how they overcame them. In 2016, Sato also spoke at the Lean In Asia Summit. Lean In is an NGO founded by Facebook CCO Sheryl Sandberg, working to empower women in the workplace and society.
“I just want to tell women here that there is a price to pay, of course, but staying in the game is actually in the long run incredibly rewarding, and also really good for the family,” Sato said.
Read more about Kumi Sato’s story in Japan Times.