235: Amber Chook – Founder TEDX Roppongi – Female Entrepreneurship in Asia

235: Amber Chook – Founder TEDX Roppongi – Female Entrepreneurship in Asia

 

Podcast highlights:

  • [12:40] Why did Amber Chook start TEDX Roppongi in Tokyo? We listen to her background story, life at university, starting out on the career path at 19 and showing people that there is another way rather than just be part of the Japanese corporate machine
  • [22:45] Why don't Japanese women ask questions at work? The subtle pressure on women at big Japanese companies and in society in general
  • [37:10] How does Amber measure the impact/success of TEDX Roppongi? The key is measuring the legacy of the event - how many people go on to create something after coming to TEDX Roppongi?

Podcast notes:

  • [00:05] Welcome Amber Chook to Asia Tech Podcast Stories
  • [01:00] Amber speaks three languages and is a badass - moving to Japan from China at 15 and studying English 14 hours a day to enter university in Tokyo
  • [04:25] The isolation and culture shock in rural Mie-ken in Japan - expectation for girls to become housewives instead of going to university
  • [09:55] Did Amber face any resistance in high school talking about girls going to university? You'll be surprised that even the teachers were against the ideas of girls going to university
  • [11:40] Who did Amber think of as a female role model and who influenced her into thinking that going to university was not only possible but a good idea?
  • [12:40] Why did Amber Chook start TEDX Roppongi in Tokyo? We listen to her background story, life at university, starting out on the career path at 19 and showing people that there is another way rather than just be part of the Japanese corporate machine
  • [19:15] We discuss the reality of working for a big Japanese company. Japanese companies have a unique corporate environment that requires complete dedication and submission to the group.
  • [21:10] "Thinking about thinking" as the first ever TEDX event presented in holograph - but why think about thinking?
  • [22:45] Why don't Japanese women ask questions at work? The subtle pressure on women at big Japanese companies and society in general
  • [29:25] What is power harassment? This is a common issue in some Asian companies. Unless overt sexual harassment, power harassment is coercion on the worker, forcing them to do overtime or to do something that they don't want to do, something that's obviously not part of their job description
  • [32:05] Going back to the telecom boom of 90s Japan - Mari Matsunaga in DoCoMo as a female role model. She kicked ass but ultimately faded away because she lacked the support of her community to continue what she is doing
  • [35:10] "If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have power, then your job is to empower somebody else" - What does the Toni Morrison quote mean to Amber?
  • [37:10] How does Amber measure the impact/success of TEDX Roppongi? The key is measuring the legacy of the event - how many people go on to create something after coming to TEDX Roppongi?
  • [40:55] "Every negative experience we have, we can always go back and draw more strength from it"
  • [44:20] Reach out to Amber Chook at facebook, LinkedIn and email