Author / 作者: Julia Liu
This November, I had a chance to join Open UP Summit team to manage its marketing and volunteer training program. I also got chances to meet many leaders in tech industry. Open UP Summit is the first tech summit focused on open source communities, products, thought leaders, and industry experts in the Asian Pacific. Together, we aim to provide a unique conference experience by integrating global resources and developing open source products within a guided and enjoyable process
今年11月，很高興因為跟 Open UP Summit 團隊合作，我主要是負責行銷與志工管理而認識很多有趣的朋友。Open UP Summit 是亞太地區第一個專注開源產品，社群與專家們交流的年會。2 天期間 Open UP Summit 準備了豐富多樣的議程，超過 20場多元跨領域演講、工作坊、開源專案展示，超過30位國內外講者，4大軌道 Data/Design/Vision/FutureofWork 讓大家獲取開源新知了解產業動向。
I was honored to interview members of an Open UP Summit Partner, Eriko Toda, the Founder and CEO of HappyCOM, and Mariko Nishimura, the Web Content Strategist. Eriko has over eighteen years of experience in ICT training with various programmer candidates. Eriko has trained over 30,000 individuals. Eriko also has more than eighteen years of experience marketing for e-commerce and e-business industries.
HappyCOM offers training on Programming courses (such as Java, Python, PHP, Swift, etc.) and e-business courses. They strongly emphasize training women. HappyCOM meets the needs of women in their 30s-40s, encouraging them to become IT teachers, trainers, engineers, and web service creators.
Japan is now one of the most advanced, affluent, and democratic countries in the world. Although it has a superb education system, ensuring high literacy among its citizens, unfortunately, the numbers of women in STEM and IT fields are still mostly unproportional. HappyCOM has prided itself on its mission to increase the number of women in vocational education and vocational training in the STEM workforce to further help women integrate into traditionally male-dominated workplaces.
Eriko and Mariko explained the reasons why it's so difficult for Japanese women to contribute to the workforce. It is especially the case after childbirth. In Japan, shared parenting remains rare, and there are unwritten customs within the corporate culture that push punishingly long hours and regular evening drinks with colleagues and clients. Along with strong social expectations about females, both Eriko and Mariko mentioned that traditional gender roles are still deeply ingrained in Japanese society. Women are unable to give the same long working hours as their male colleagues. Women are assigned domestic duties such as raising children, cleaning, and making animal-shaped character bentos.
Eriko and Mariko also added the lack of affordable childcare systems in Japan as another barrier for women returning to the workforce. Often childcare isn't conveniently located, which adds even more pressure for women to care for their children. As a result, women are held back in ways they're not in other advanced places such as Hong Kong and Singapore. After a very short maternity leave totaling 5 months, Japanese women are forced to stay at home due to a shortage of childcare facilities. Even after they return to the workforce, other problems are facing them.
Mariko Nishimura shared her personal story, which mirrored many of the hurdles faced by other women in the workplace. She met insecure, low-wage, and/or contract work after returning to her professional role from a few years of absence. These jobs don't require work training or meetings, which limit career advancement plans for these working moms. These jobs also do little to build skills or bridge Japan's gender wage gap. These women are not expected to dedicate much to the workforce. Mariko said she often feels in order for women in Japan to have a big career it takes two elements, Hard Work, and Luck! It's doesn't solely depend on how much dedication you have. People in one's network or workplace play a huge part. For herself, she met Eriko, who is a strong advocate for women shining in working environments regardless of marital status. Aside from her struggles, she is a lucky one among the so many working women who often have to battle miserably in workplaces that institutionalize inequality.
It's incredible how much work a company like HappyCOM can do for Japanese women. They are like a light through the cracks giving Japanese women hope and fulfillment when society does little. It's power from the bottom up; cultivated networks and increased successes. Together they create a growing female-friendly space to help women thrive in the usually male-dominated tech circles. Open UP Summit is overjoyed to have a partner with such an incredible mission.
寫這篇文的當下，我很榮幸採訪了 Open UP Summit 合作夥伴 HappyCOM 及其創始人和首席執行長 Eriko Toda，以及 Web 內容策略師 Mariko Nishimura。 Eriko 不僅在 ICT 培訓業務方面擁有超過18年以上的經驗，訓練超過30,000多名科技人才。而且還有多年電商和網路業的營銷經驗。
早在全球重視及培力女力的呼聲群起之前，HappyCOM 就盡力推動扶植女性科技人才。HappyCOM 從2001年前創立的那一刻，到今天的的這一秒，Eriko 的確就是在做先驅者 (pioneer) 的事情。其公司本身的目的是以建造 STEM 和 IT 教育的支持系統、營造女性投入 STEM 有利環境，建立女力人脈連結產業知識的交流進而達到激勵與培力。
HappyCOM 提供有關程式編寫課程（Java，Pyton，PHP，Swift等），以及電子商務課程的培訓。通過培訓 HappyCOM 可以滿足30到40年齡層女性的需求幫助二度就業的婦女，他們培訓女性成為 IT 培訓師並到各大科技公司為科技公司的員工做職業訓練和科技課程的輔導，例如程式工程師等。HappyCOM 深耕國內科技領域的女性成長與人才培育透過的不斷激勵、啟發與幫助懷著科技夢的女性不斷前進。
Eriko 和 Mariko 解釋了為什麼日本女性一般在婚後都無法在職場保持活躍的原因。儘管日本是亞洲最先進的國家富裕和民主的國家之一，也是世界上備受尊敬的工業大國，其教育系統遍及全國，公民素養極高。但整體日本社會與企業對女性工作者是比較不友善的，其中原因為日本社會對於男主外、女主內都有根深蒂固的觀念。對於重回職場的媽媽通常會選擇兼職工作而不是全職工作，在現實條件下缺乏的社會福利及育嬰假少於五個月的劣質環境裡，日本女性只會大多從事兼職工作，久而久之造成了一個玻璃天花板的現象，大部分的女性被卡在下層。在日本，已婚女性往往比丈夫花更多的時間做家務，許多日本女性還是傾向懷孕之後就辭掉工作，日本工時太長且不夠彈性的企業文化以及缺乏托兒機構的種種阻礙讓女性在就業上困難重重。
Eriko 和 Mariko 還補充說，日本缺乏負擔得起的育兒系統保育園不足問題日益嚴重，這也是婦女重返工作崗位的其中障礙。除了日本社會一直存在著「照顧孩子是媽媽的責任」工作和生養孩子之間的兩難，比起其他一樣先進的亞洲國家，新加坡或香港日本女性還侷限在難以兩全的選項困境中，日本社會裡還未完全營造一個全力支援女性自我實現的社會環境。即使他們重返工作崗位，他們面前仍然存在其他問題。
婚後暫時離開職場的 Mariko 分享當她再重回職場後，更是遇到每位日本女性都深受其害的職場玻璃天花板的現象，許多全職工作的女性不能晉升超過一定水平。二度就業的女性很多工作是以兼職，約聘，臨時性或人力派遣工作者，這些工作絕大多數都是低薪並且缺乏工作保障和不提供全面的在職訓練休假或年終獎金，也不符合工作單位的退休制度，或將來的年金請領資格，再加上日本還是個以男性主導的社會，導致日本女性在就業發展上，處處受限，職場平權觀念亦落後。她聲稱在日本工作要靠不只只靠努力還得靠運氣，她以她自身為例，因為她運氣好遇到 Eriko 照顧有意重投職場的婦女提供她們機會和職業訓練，進而幫助她今天在她原有的事業上發展有所突破。
很榮幸 Open UP Summit 可以跟如此有社會責任和意義的企業合作。HappyCOM 縮短在科技業界的懸殊性別比例讓科技人才性別比例更平衡。還好有企業像 HappyCOM 持續不斷的為女力發聲，鼓勵女性發揮潛能，並協助其職涯技能發展;為媽媽們提供更多選擇、增加了她們加入工作的機會，讓日本女性擁有自己的職業專長與經濟獨立的機會。我們期待有一天性別平等可以像呼吸一樣自然，讓人人都有公平發展的機會。
Founder and CEO of HappyCom Linkedin
Conducted ICT training for 30,000+ programmer candidates.
Established online media "HappyDigital" for technology-oriented women.
Eriko Toda 是 HappyCom 的 CEO，為 30,000 多家新創公司進行 ICT 培訓，並建立面向技術女性的線上媒體 HappyDigital。