Interview with Anna Budde, CMO NTT DATA Germany, and Ilka Friese, Managing Director & CFO NTT DATA Germany, about the Global Summit of Women 2017 in Tokyo.
Question: Anna, you attended the Global Summit of Women in Tokyo in May. What kind of an event was it exactly and which role did NTT DATA play?
Anna: The Global Summit of Women is an internationally recognized conference that has been bringing together business women from all over the world for 26 years. This year’s summit was held in Tokyo. More than 1,600 top female executives – including CEOs, directors, government officials, etc. – from all over the world took part. Among them were 30 female executives from well-known German companies, including Daimler and Siemens. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was also present and announced “Womenomics” as part of Japan’s future growth strategy.
This year, NTT DATA was an official sponsor for the first time thanks to Patrizio Mapelli, our CEO at NTT DATA EMEA. This shows just how important this topic is to us! The German team has taken the lead: Our Managing Director, Ilka Friese, delivered a speech on “I am what I am” and participated in the “Accelerating STEM for 21st century careers” panel discussion.
Our headquarters in Tokyo took advantage of this global event for our global WiN Kickoff initiative held a day before. This international initiative promotes the role of women in NTT DATA with enormous support from our top management! WiN stands for “Women in NTT DATA”, or as we put it in Germany “Women inspire NTT DATA”. These two events complemented each other perfectly; they were all about women in business.
What was the goal of the Global WiN Kickoff?
Ilka: The Global WiN Kickoff brought together 16 top female executives from NTT DATA Japan, India, EMEA as well as from our subsidiaries Everis and itelligence. It presented different measures from the different OpCos. It allowed us to work together and develop global WiN visions and goals and, most importantly, define corresponding measures and initiatives. The goal is to strengthen global cooperation and show that NTT DATA is an attractive employer in IT – for both men and women alike!
Anna: Promotion of the initiatives is different across different regions. India and EMEA are pioneers in this regard. Generally, the exchange and cooperation at a global level are very helpful and it is important to make sure that it is not limited to the human resource department, but rather spearheaded by management. And this is what we have undertaken to ensure: Kaz Nishihata, Executive Vice President, NTT DATA Corporation, Patrizio Mapelli, CEO NTT DATA EMEA, Swen Rehders, CEO NTT DATA Germany, and Dieter Loewe, Managing Director NTT DATA Germany & Head of Financial Services, are all key supporters of this initiative. The top executive commitment can now also be seen in Japan – Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, announced his “Womenomics” strategy at the Global Summit of Women: Womenomics stands for “let women shine”. Some of the implementation measures have already been defined: In future, the percentage of women in management boards of Japanese companies must be at least 30%!
Ilka, you also gave a speech at the event about “I am what I am”. What was the tenor of the speech?
Ilka: I gave my speech during the break-out session “Accelerating STEM for 21st century careers” in front of a high-profile panel consisting of participants from very different fields. This underlines the importance of balanced teams at NTT DATA. We aim to establish an authentic corporate culture where women have the same career opportunities as men. Female team members often offer a different perspective on things; they are very inspiring – hence the name of the initiative, “Women inspire NTT DATA”.
This is why we want to promote a balanced corporate culture. However, my concern is not exactly based on ensuring a definite percentage of women. In the end, it is all about project quality. The salaries should of course be on the same level as men’s, and there is still need for action in this regard. “Women in leadership” is a hot topic across the entire world; with huge differences in progress across different regions.
We are working together with a global team on this topic. The key focus is on equality, empowerment of women, inspiration, talent program & mentoring, networking as well as flexible working hours’ models – with the aim of becoming an employer 4.0 in the IT field.
Thank you, Anna and Ilka!
By the way: We are still looking for many new colleagues. Click here to see our current job vacancies in Germany.