Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Spring 2017
Originally from Kanagawa, Mariko is majoring in Information Science at Nara Institute science and Technology University
Mariko is an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. While Japan is a developed country, she feels that there is still a lot of social discrimination against women and she believes it is integral that they all work towards changing this social perception. Mariko first became aware of this issue when she attended an entrepreneurial development program. Being talented in science and technology, a field that is still dominated by men, Mariko won a contest during the program but her victory has tarnished by men insinuating it may have been due to her gender, rather than her capabilities. This experience opened her eyes and made her want to be acknowledged for her talents, regardless of her gender. Mariko’s plan is to study the history of gender discrimination and work towards finding a solution in obtaining equal rights, hoping that one day she can be a role model for other women.
Mariko is currently studying Medical Image processing at graduate school and hopes to strengthen her IT and programming skills. She is very ambitions and eventually wants to start her own company and be a strong woman leader who will be used as an example for generations to come.
Through the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Mariko hopes to meet participants who share her passion for social change and get connected to like-minded individuals.