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Coming from Japan, my career started at a time when women were still expected to fulfil support functions. So, it was quite unusual for women to work in sales within the IT market. I can’t say that concerned me too much – I was keen to learn.
After completing my degree in sociology from Keio University in 1995, I began my career with Telehouse’s parent company, the telecoms operator KDDI Corporation, working for Teleway. I was taking care of major financial companies that had entered the Japanese market and required an international network.
I joined Telehouse in 2004 as a sales manager and worked there for three years. When I started work at Telehouse, I was already married, but I decided to live away from my family, which caused a great deal of astonishment at KDDI. Upon my return to HQ, I worked as the sales manager in charge of the Japanese trading company, to provide their international network.
I was then promoted to group leader for the wholesale business, and worked for a variety of major carriers who used KDDI’s network to establish their own network in Japan. Moving up to Director of Global ICT Sales and Marketing, I supported Japanese customers’ international business from the network perspective. I was leading global sales and business development for major manufacturers and finance companies, which was challenging, fascinating and a wonderful learning experience all at the same time.
And then in 2020, I was appointed Senior Assistant to the board, which gave me a great opportunity to learn something very different – how to manage the company as a board member. Last year (2021) I became Deputy Managing Director at Telehouse International and in October of this year I became Managing Director.
If I offered advice to women about a career in IT, it would be to rid themselves of any ideas that sales or technology should be men’s work. It is vital to forget stereotyped ideas of this kind that just hold women back. To get on you must be hungry and eager to learn new things even though you may not be a specialist in IT or technology. My degree, it is worth pointing out, was in sociology. Women need to find their way forward by constantly updating their knowledge and expanding what they know about the industry.
This is an exciting time for me now. I’ll continue to be based in London, which is our European headquarters, and I’ll be putting the emphasis on innovation and customer experience. We are seeing unprecedented demand for connectivity, scalability and security, which we aim to deliver at Telehouse. We have a long-established reputation for excellence in the connectivity and data centre market and I’m determined to continue following through on our commitment to reliability, resilience and all-round best-in-class excellence.