Inclusion in Technology in Japan — GCP Global

Amanda Cavallaro
Jun 26, 2017 · 4 min read
GCP Global in Japan

A topic we should all be talking about, not only in Japan but all around the world — inclusion in technology.

We have to balance our work life, family and personal life. It can get challenging and discouraging to work in IT-related areas or even attending events in which you feel you are not welcome there, and that much effort: who to leave the kids with — Can we take them with ourselves to the event? How to have work-life balance?!

I have talked to many Japanese people througout my life — I must say I am fascinated by their culture, I have volunteered to teach Japanese foundation to kids in Brazil. I am constantly trying to get a better understanding of their culture, and finding ways I could use my experience to suggest improvements and hopefully help workspaces and tech events be more inclusive and welcoming.

I went all the way to Japan to both co-organise this brilliant event with Women Who Go and GCPUG Tokyo and to give a talk there. During my presentation, I encouraged and supported women in technology.

Talking about role models

It was acollaborative event between (GDG Cloud London), (GCPUG Tokyo), and (Women Who Go Tokyo)
and It took place at Mercari in Japan. A huge thanks to Mercari and Google for making this possible.

In this video you can see a bit of the overall event and my presentation. Thank you for everyone who took their time during a weekday to be present, and for the others who could not be there, my message is: be inclusive, do your best, you can do it!

We talked about diversity in technology, how important it is to know English for the IT related areas (English 101 class), demo by @tenntenn, image recognition at Go and Cloud vision api, Google’s expert Q&A after google next @soundtricker @sinmetal @tenntenn.

Below you can find my tweets and also the attendees’ tweets (including GDGs, newcomers, experienced developers, googlers, womentechmaker leads, and many others).

I am very happy to know I made a difference to so many beginners and more experienced people in IT in Japan. Please count on me, and remember: you are stronger than you think, you can do it!

I was really pleased to read Lily Okamoto’s post. She describes the event in detail in her point of view. I appreciate so much you taking your time to write this.

How can you be more inclusive?

There must be a change of mindset and you can help minorities feel included by stating in your company or events that everyone is welcome.

During the #wtmsummit in Prague my group (Amanda, Aviv, Katja, Magda, Corina, Alev took our time to answer these questions:

(I recommend you read Alev’s medium post)

How do you reach out to female speakers? How do you source new female speakers within your community?

  • Be remembered — Become known, attend events so people can remember your name when recommending a group. Introduce people to each other.
  • Be clear what you want from the speaker, what your community would benefit from them.
  • Have a 1 on 1 informal meeting, dinner, time to get ideas from speakers — sometimes they are not sure what they can talk about.
  • Ask from your own community to suggest/ connect you with women there who can share a talk. Ask inside your own company, clients, partners
  • Where to search women: github, communities, universities, previous talks at other events
  • Reward speakers — Give swags, tickets to speakers — share about them on social media

How to mentor women speakers?

  • Compliment speakers — After the event — reach to the speaker thank them, share their material.
  • Share success stories on social media
  • Organise lightning talks during the events
  • Ask speakers to give tips
  • Inspire kids at schools — give them an event and have them present a short presentation
  • Public speaking workshop — encourage women to talk, compliment what they can do well. Online courses, webinars example: toast masters

If you’d like to read about the #wtmsummit, you can do so by clicking here.

I would like to share some links I recommend, they are worth your time:

  1. Tech Diversity: 12 Things Allies Can Do — Melinda, founder of Change Catalyst —
  2. Code can change your career prospects, Eva Tkavc
  3. Successful female innovator, Eva Tkavc
  4. Google Code Labs —
  5. Top techie programs change —
  6. Japanese Female Entrepreneur — Emi Takemura Miller —

I have a huge respect for the Japanese culture, I have studied Japanese language for many years, I am an aikidoka, I helped a social project teaching kids in Brazil about the Japanese language and culture after the aikido classes

I am a co-organiser of GDG Cloud London ( and one of the Google Women Techmakers leads in London.

I would like help increase the number of minorities in technology (to start and remain in the area) not only in Japan and in the entire world. I once said I wanted to change the world, I know I cannot change the it entirely, but I definitely can inspire people near me, and I will try my best to do so.

If you would like to find me on social media:

The GDG Cloud London group I co-organise

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