Junko Ota, Researcher at IGES’ Kitakyushu Urban Centre, received the Incentive Award in the individual category of the "14th Kitakyushu City Women's Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards" for 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, Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In addition to her time at IGES, she has served as the first vice chair 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, making the most of the opportunities afforded to her 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 an era where we are all urged to take action on the SDGs and climate change. I would like to continue to act as a bridge to ensure that valuable opinions and actual situations at the local level are reflected in 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)
Winners of the 14th Kitakyushu City Women's Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards
The 14th Kitakyushu City Women's Active Participation and Work-Life Balance Awards