Companies in Action: Best Practices for Women’s Empowerment & Diversity

March 14, 2024
past event image
Private Event past event

Across the United States and Japan, companies are increasingly demonstrating their commitment to women’s empowerment, active allyship, and the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Despite commendable progress, statistical data from the OECD reveals that only 31% of board seats in the United States are occupied by women, while in Japan, the figure drops significantly to 15.5%. What best practices can companies embrace to foster an inclusive work culture, and how are organizations cultivating female talent for leadership roles? Why is allyship important in the workplace, and what actions should companies take to move allyship to advocacy? In this program, speakers from companies excelling in women’s empowerment and DEI share valuable insights into their respective journeys, shedding light on both successful practices and challenges encountered along the way. Join us as we examine the strategies and experiences that are shaping the future of gender equality in the corporate landscape.

Okeatta Brown, Managing Director, Chief DEI, Culture and Philanthropy Officer, MUFG Americas & Global Co-Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Scott Flood, General Counsel, SMBC Americas
Ida Liu, Global Head, Citi Private Bank
Fatima Shama, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Americas, Bloomberg

Joshua W. Walker, Ph.D.
, President & CEO, Japan Society

6:30 – 7:30 pm: Discussion and Q&A
7:30 – 8:00 pm: Reception

Ticket/Admission Information
This event is only available to Japan Society corporate members. Admission is free with advance registration required.

About the Speakers

Okeatta Brown
Managing Director, Chief DEI, Culture and Philanthropy Officer, MUFG Americas & Global Co-Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Okeatta has had a successful 25-year career in the financial services industry, aligning strategies, frameworks, and programs with corporate goals and strategic direction. Her key strengths are in building synergy and collaboration between leadership, stakeholders, teams, and partners to drive change, support business imperatives, and maximize value creation across complex environments. She is skilled in analyzing needs and issues, defining approaches, building effective partnerships and structures, and developing and socializing innovative solutions that have reduced costs, mitigated risk, strengthened compliance, built brand identity, and elevated customer, team member, and stakeholder experience. Okeatta is the Chief DEI, Culture, and Philanthropy Officer for MUFG Americas, and Global Co-Head of DEI. She is responsible for building and implementing a global and Americas DEI strategy as well as overseeing the company’s philanthropic efforts in local communities. Okeatta holds an MBA from Montreat College, a Bachelor of Science from Johnson C. Smith University, and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a certified Human Centered Design Thinking Practitioner. She has served on several non-profit boards, including the United Negro College Fund (Charlotte), Urban League of Central Carolinas as Board Chair, Carolina Community Builders Initiative (Leadership Development Initiative Program) Advisory Board, and Carolinas Minority Supplier Development Council Executive Board of Directors as 2nd Vice Chair. She also serves on the UNCF Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon Committee and is a former CALIBR Global Leadership Network member. Most recently, Okeatta was the 2023 recipient of the Multicultural Women’s Leadership Foundation (MWELF) Trailblazer Award and was featured in Savoy Magazine’s 2023 Most Influential Executives in Diversity & Inclusion. She has also been featured in the CALIBR Global Leadership Network magazine, awarded an Urban League of Central Carolinas Young Professionals Leadership Award, and listed in the Who’s Who in Black Charlotte Pride Magazine’s 51 Most Powerful Women.

Scott Flood
General Counsel, SMBC Americas

Scott Flood is the General Counsel of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (“SMBC”) Americas Division, reporting to the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer of the Americas. His primary responsibilities include advising the company on day-to-day legal matters, government, investigations, litigations and corporate governance. In this capacity Flood works extensively with the Board, including presenting and providing training, and attending and presenting to the audit and risk and compliance Committees of the Board. Prior to joining SMBC, Flood spent 30 years at Citibank, where he was Managing Director and General Counsel of the Markets & Securities Services legal team. Flood holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Amherst College in Massachusetts, and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts.

Ida Liu
Global Head, Citi Private Bank

Ida Liu is the Global Head of Citi Private Bank and a member of the Citi Global Wealth Leadership team. Ida leads the Private Banking activities in 52 offices across 20 countries and delivers wealth management solutions to ultra-high net worth families and their businesses globally. Before becoming the Global Head, she was the Head of Citi Private Bank North America and held numerous other leadership roles. Ida created Citi Private Bank’s North America Asian Clients Group, and she started her career at Citi by launching and heading the Fashion, Retail and Entertainment Group. Before joining Citi, Ida was at Vivienne Tam, a women’s wear design house, where she was Global Head of Sales, Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development. Prior to this, Ida spent seven years in investment banking with Merrill Lynch’s mergers and acquisitions and technology, media and telecommunications investment banking groups in New York and Hong Kong. She started her career in mergers and acquisitions at BT Wolfensohn (now Deutsche Bank). Ida has received many industry accolades including the distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Barron’s 10 Most Influential Women in Wealth Management and Crain’s Notable Women on Wall Street. For four consecutive years, starting in 2019 Ida was named Barron’s 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance as well as American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance. Additionally, Ida is a Young Global Leader (YGL) of the World Economic Forum, a member of The Committee of 100 (C100) and Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Ida serves on the UCLA Health Advisory Board as well as the Asia Society Board of Trustees. Ida holds a BA with honors from Wellesley College and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and conversant in Russian.

Fatima Shama
Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Americas, Bloomberg

Fatima Shama is the head of diversity and inclusion (D&I) for the Americas at Bloomberg. Fatima oversees the diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and delivers programs and initiatives that advance diverse representation and drive change across the organization.

Fatima and her team bring inclusive and equitable practices that enhance culture, the workplace and overall business excellence through accountability frameworks, talent management strategies, programming and partnerships. Fatima has over 25 years of working on innovative strategies that respond to the needs of diverse communities at the intersection of health care access, educational equity, youth development and advocating and supporting immigrants and communities of color. Her work has focused on engaging, lifting and supporting diverse talents, voices and perspectives to ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities and outcomes. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Fatima was the CEO and executive director of The Fresh Air Fund. Before that, Fatima served in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration as the commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and his senior policy advisor on education. Fatima serves as a Trustee for the Pinkerton Foundation and is on the boards of the New York Immigration CoalitionCoro Leadership New York and National Summer Learning Association. She earned her Executive Master of Public Administration at Baruch College.

Image is AI-generated.

This program is sponsored by MUFG Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Bloomberg.

The U.S.-Japan Women Leaders Initiative is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from The Japan Foundation, with additional leadership support provided by Mr. Keishi Hotsuki and Morgan Stanley.

Business & Policy programs are generously supported by Japan Society Global Leaders & Corporate Partners.

Global Leaders

Corporate Partners

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

  • Thursday, March 14, 2024
  • 6:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Free Event

Online registration for this event is closed. If you would like to register for the event, please contact the Business & Policy Forum at [email protected].