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How This Startup is Getting Japanese Moms Back to Work – Waris

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Miwa Tanaka, CEO of Waris, is working to make things better for working women in Japan. Although things are slowly changing, most Japanese women still must leave the workforce when they have children. The Waris platform helps them get back on track, either as a freelancer or by restarting their career. We talk about her startup, of course, but we also talk about the difficulties women still face, the kinds of roles they are traditionally placed into, and the traditional employment structures and roles are changing. It’s a optimistic interview and Miwa explains why she believes that corporate Japan truly wants to change things for the better. It’s a fascinating discussion, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Show Notes for Startups Why Japanese women leave the workforce when they have children The problem Japanese women face during negotiations How the Tohuku Earthquake changed Miwa's life path Why the Japanese government changed its opinion on freelancers What "diversity training" actually means in Japan and why it's important The importance of startups selling to each other and bootstrapping  the ecosyste Why Japanese women are attracted to entrepreneurship and  freelancing Links from the Founder Everything you ever wanted to know about Waris Friend Waris on Facebook Follow Waris on Twitter @info_Waris The Waris community blog Cue for working women in Japan. Friend Miwa on Facebook [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript from Japan Welcome to Disrupting Japan, -- straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I am Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Miwa Tanaka, the CEO of Waris is working hard to make things better for women in Japan. The changing roles of Japanese Women in both start-ups and large enterprises is something we talked about quite a bit on disrupting Japan and Miwa has a unique perspective on this subject. Waris is a platform that is helping Japanese women who've quit their jobs to have children, rejoined the work force. Now, of course, we talk about the social and business conventions that results in Japanese women having to quit their jobs to have children in the first place. But often the best solutions to these kind of social problems are small steady improvements, and that's what Miwa is trying to do. In fact, hearing Miwa explained what Waris is shows us some microcosm of women in Japanese business, --- the difficulties women face, the kind of roles they've traditionally been placed into and also how those roles and the traditional employment structure are changing but more important, perhaps, how Japanese women themselves are choosing to adapt, to work around, occasionally, walk away from those restrictions. And as Miwa explains, another sign that things are getting better here in Japan is that Waris has a steady stream of corporate customers who are asking for diversity training. I think that this is a sign, much like it was with previous guest who discussed the demand for open innovation and LGBT sensitivity training that corporate Japan wants to change. I think much of corporate Japan and the government as well, are sincere on their efforts to make things better. But as Miwa explains, sometimes those changes can painfully slowly, but Miwa tells that story much better than I can. So, let's hear from our sponsors and get right to the interview. [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1411"  info_text="Sponsored by"  font_color="grey"  ] [Interview] Tim:                     So, I'm sitting here with Miwa Tanaka, the co-founder and the CEO of Waris. So, thanks for sitting down with us. Miwa:                  Thank you so much for inviting me. Tim:                     Now, Waris is an online job matching service to help women continue their career after they've had children. I'm sure you can explain it much better than I  can. So,

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