IGES Researcher Recognized at Kitakyushu Women’s Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards

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Junko Ota, Researcher of the Kitakyushu Urban Centre at IGES, received the Incentive Award in the individual category of the “14th Kitakyushu City Women’s Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards” in 2020. This award is given to companies, organisations, and individuals who fulfil their work responsibilities with a high level of productivity and motivation, while also promoting and practicing harmony within their personal lives.

In 2015, Ms. Ota moved from Indonesia to Kitakyushu City due to her spouse’s work. After a career break, she has engaged in international climate negotiations and SDG localisation as an IGES researcher since 2017, drawing upon her prior work experience in the field of climate change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In addition to her time at IGES, she has served as the first vice chairman of Kitakyushu’s SDGs Council and a member of its Environmental Council, and has given many lectures at schools in the city, thereby contributing to spreading awareness locally about international discussions on these topics.

The deciding factor for the award was Ms. Ota’s demonstration of flexibility in responding to life events and continued work with respect to her own expertise, even in a regional city. Ms. Ota stated, “Even if your career is interrupted at a certain life stage, by continuing to pursue what you are passionate about, opportunities will be opened up for you. We are now in the era that everyone is strongly required to take action on the SDGs and climate change. I would like to continue to act as a bridge that connects valuable opinions and facts at the local level to international discussions.”

IGES congratulates Ms. Ota on her achievement and will, as an organisation, make continued efforts to promote diversity, including gender equality, as well as work-life balance.

Related links (in Japanese only)
第14回北九州市女性活躍・ワークライフバランス表彰の受賞者が決定
Winners of the 14th Kitakyushu City Women’s Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards
https://www.city.kitakyushu.lg.jp/soumu/12000107.html

第14回女性活躍・ワークライフバランス表彰者
The 14th Kitakyushu City Women’s Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards
http://wlb-kitakyushu.jp/commendation/14-05.html
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