WE Int. wants to thank everyone for their continued support and insight. The process to create gender equality is challenging, but when we come together we create change, when we stay together we have power and when we work together we create a movement. Everyone can contribute to change the world by influencing people around them. Let's all take action towards equality.



Updated: Jan 2

WomEnpowered International Biannual Panel Discussion



On Friday the 13th of December WE Int. held a biannual event above Tokyo’s skyline, which was centred around diversity education and how disparities in the treatment of men and women in the workplace are shaped at different stages of education in our lives. The discussion was led by WE Int. co-director Emily Larcombe. WE Int. had the honour to welcome four incredible guest speakers who spoke about their experiences across different sectors surrounding diversity education in Japan.





Natsuko Sugihara

“The legal profession is not diverse”





Natsuko is a Partner at Clifford Chance LLP specialising in private M&A, cross-border transactions and joint ventures, acting for private equity clients as well as Japanese and foreign corporate clients on their domestic and cross-border transactions across a wide range of sectors.



Jackie F. Steele

“How we diversify and create space for diverse being in the world is a general problem we see in multiple different spaces across Japan, especially in the cooperate space”



A trilingual Canadian political scientist and author, Jackie (PhD) is the Founder of en-joi Diversity & Inclusion Consulting and Training. A Japan resident for two decades, Jackie shares  expertise in women's empowerment, public policy, disaster risk governance, and diversity mainstreaming into organizations and decision-making bodies.





Andrew O’Brien

“In my school the girls don't get a diverse exposure to opportunity”

Andrew has been teaching in Japan for 17 years, including 15 years as a full-time teacher at Kyoritsu Girls’ Jr./Sr. High School, in Hachioji. Andrew has developed a teaching style influenced by coaching, facilitation and mediation, and always has human development and potential in mind.

Kirsten O’Connor


“A lot of the girls, even in primary school were expecting to have a very clear trajectory of what their life is going to be as mothers.”



Kirsten O'Connor is the Founder and Director of QUEST TOKYO KK, a company launched in 2018 to provide educational services and tutoring to the international and Japanese communities in Tokyo.









WE Int. holds monthly coffee chats over intriguing gender issues. December session was themed "Feminist Navidad!" with our hope to make the holiday season more inclusive and empowering.



“Baby, it is cold outside” = “Baby, I prohibit you showing consent inside”

Written by Darina Obukhova


What do you think when you hear a famous holiday song “Baby, It is cold outside”? Maybe, it serves you a Christmas fantasy of air becoming colder, people becoming warmer and sound of packages being unwrapped louder.


What do I think when I hear “Baby, It is cold outside”? I think it suggests sexual harassment or even date rape. Well, I am not alone – the song, written by Frank Loesser in 1944, has caused a lot of online backlash due to its controversial lyrics with all that phrases like “I simply must go” replied with “The answer is no” as “it is cold outside.” In 2019 John Legend released a modern version of the song with the updated lyrics which he worked on together with Natasha Rothwell, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer. New “Baby, It is cold outside” also features Kelly Clarkson.


WE Int. members gathered at UTokyo Komaba campus on December 2 to discuss the old and new version and to think about the broader concept of feminist values represented in the entertainment such as standup comedy, music and movies. We agreed that while some female parts of the lyrics can still be improved from the feministic standpoint it did a good job showing more time- and human-appropriate idea of consent.

(The left side is the original lyrics and the right John Legend version. Words in brackets are sung by male voice. Can you tell how John Legend changed the lyrics?)


In his interview to Jimmy Fallon, Legend talks about people accusing him of messing with the original song’s lyrics and killing Christmas. In response to that Fallon says “If you like the old version, listen to it and play it loud.” Do not listen to Mr. Fallon, please. Take everything critically, even if it is a holiday song or a joke. We want our path to establish the concept of sexual consent to be as smooth as the road Santa Claus rides his sledge to deliver you Christmas gifts.