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Last fall, in recognition of her advocacy for matters relating to women’s empowerment, Mari Matthews was invited to the United Nations (UN) during its General Assembly in New York.

Matthews is co-chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Women in Business Committee. The invitation was extended by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), a body established in 2010.

Speaking to The Journal, Matthews said, “I was pleasantly surprised to be selected to attend the UN General Assembly’s business discussion at a chapter of UN Women. As you may know, UN Women is quite a young agency, but it has a goal [reflected in the title of its recent gathering] of ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality,’ which is a call for gender parity around the world by 2030.”

Matthews—-who is also co-chair of the ACCJ Insurance Committee, as well as executive officer and vice president of Government Relations at MetLife—-added that, “Women’s empowerment is something that MetLife, with the full and active support of CEO Sachin Shah, is advocating.

“We held our Shine Week side events two years in a row, which are part of the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s WAW! 2015, a symposium held by the government of Japan to help create a society where women can shine.”

Mari Matthews is co-chair of the Women in Business Committee.

Mari Matthews is co-chair of
the Women in Business Committee.

Born in Hokkaido and a graduate of Western Illinois University, Matthews was the sole representative from Japan at the UN Women’s gathering in New York. In 2015, the global agency opened a chapter in Japan.

A trailblazer with a long-standing record of supporting women in the workforce, Matthews’ role in government relations involves lobbying both US and Japanese government agencies on behalf of MetLife. She is also a member of the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives).

John Amari is a writer and editor from the UK who specialises in articles on startups, entrepreneurs, science and tech and business.
UN Women . . . has a goal of . . . gender parity around the world by 2030.