Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Forever Unequal? Gender and LGBTQ in Japan, Present and Future

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Japan’s gender equality ranking fell to 125th out of 146 countries in 2023, lagging severely behind other G7 countries. Yet in the same year, the Japanese government set a target of women occupying 30% of executive roles by 2030, and passed their first anti-discrimination law addressing the LGBTQ+ community. What exactly is the status of gender equality and LGBTQ rights in Japan today? What is the current political, legal, and societal environment surrounding these issues, and in what direction are they headed? Join Kaoru Perkins (Head of DEI and Partner at Bain Tokyo) and Patrick Carland-Echavarria (PhD candidate at UPenn and Japan Foundation Fellow) in a moderated discussion of the past, present, and future of gender and LGBTQ issues in Japan, spanning both corporate and academic realms. Moderated by Stacy Shimanuki.

Speaker #1: Kaoru Perkins
Partner, Head of DEI Practice, and APAC Champion of BGLAD; Bain Tokyo
Kaoru Perkins holds 13 years of diverse consulting experience with particular expertise in DEI change management across Tokyo, New York, and Dubai. Passionate about fostering inclusivity and diversity within the corporate realm, she holds key leadership roles as the Tokyo leader of the DEI practice and the APAC champion of Bain’s LGBTQ+ affinity group, BGLAD. Kaoru is particularly focused on gender and LGBTQ+ issues in Japan and beyond, maximizing corporate governance effectiveness and embedding DEI in Japanese corporations. She holds a BA in Economics and International Studies from the University of Washington.

Speaker #2: Patrick Carland-Echavarria
PhD Candidate; University of Pennsylvania
Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellow
Patrick Carland-Echavarria’s research focuses on post-war Japanese queer cultures, translation theory, transnational LGBTQ and Cold War history, feminism, and visual media studies. His paper “Queer Translation and Utopian Imaginaries in Postwar Japan,” was awarded the Marlene Mayo Graduate Paper Prize by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Asian Studies (MARAAS). He received his BA in English from Emmanuel College and MA in Japanese from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is currently conducting research at Waseda University in Tokyo as a Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellow.