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Foundation of GEWEL

Two founders encountered in 2002 - Dream of fostering female leaders

GEWEL (Global Enhancement of Women’s Executive Leadership) started from an encounter between two energetic female founders.
Former President
Kimiko Horii
Former Vice President
Ann Sado-Honjyo

One woman is Ann Sado. She was impressed when she attended the Global Summit of Women late in the 1990’s, an event she learned about from her friend who was a director of the summit. Since then, she had been thinking about establishing an organization to help Japanese women get promoted to more responsible positions in organizations and corporations and play more active roles in the world.

The other woman is Kimiko Hori. She had a long-held dream to teach necessary skills to future generations of young women to become leaders in organizations by utilizing her experience as a senior manager at Avon, a foreign affiliated company in Japan. As she learned about the harsh reality of the status of women in Japanese corporations, she decided that women must increase their awareness about their work and become competent to perform their work before changing Japanese corporations. She believed that it was necessary to establish an organization specializing in such objectives.

Horii and Sado met through the Women and Work Research Center in October 2002 and shared their desire to establish an organization to work toward fulfilling their dreams.

The third founder joined in 2003 - Idea generated in N.Y. & L.A.

Former Director
Hitomi Konishi

The other woman is Kimiko Hori. She had a long-held dream to teach necessary skills to future generations of young women to become ln January 2003, Horii and Konishi, a colleague of Horii’s from Avon (and the third founder of GEWEL), visited organizations and consultants in New York and Los Angeles, and they became familiar with various programs in the U.S. They agreed that they could contribute to the society by introducing similar programs to Japan, working with overseas business organizations.

Foundation of GEWEL in April, 2003 - Supporting women to sparkle like jewelry.

In April 2003, the concept and name of the organization were decided. Global Enhancement of Women's Executive Leadership, abbreviated GEWEL, was selected. The name reflects the word “JEWEL” to help women sparkle like jewelry.

Official foundation of GEWEL in July 2003

The following members also joined GEWEL responding to the invitation by the three directors.

GEWEL founding members :
Kimiko HORII, Ann SADO-HONJO, Hitomi KONISHI, Hiroko TATEBE, Rieko ICHIYA, Mizue UNNO, Hiroko KAWASE, Maki KIMURA, Kyoko SAKUMA, Maki SASAKI,Youko OKAMURA,Ruriko NOMURA For brief background of additional founding members, please access to Introduction of Directors and Advisors.

Registration as a NPO in December 2003

GEWEL as an official NPO in January 2004

GEWEL was officially registered as NPO in January 2004.