15th APEC Women Leaders Network Meeting Speaker Profile

Plenary Session 1

Panel Discussion
"Strategy for Women's Initiative in Economy (or Business)"
Organizer: National Federation of Business & Professional Women's Clubs of Japan

International President, BPW International(Business & Professional Women)
Ms. Elizabeth Benham
International President, BPW International(Business & Professional Women)

Lecturer brief history

Elizabeth "Liz" Benham is currently president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International) an organization that develops the professional, leadership and business potential of women on all levels. Celebrating its 80th anniversary BPW International crosses 5 regions with affiliates in 96 countries and has over 30,000 members. A member for 22 years she also serves as a permanent delegate to the United Nations in New York where BPW International has had consultative status since 1947.

Born and educated in South Africa, Liz Benham has a full and varied professional and business career. She began as a nurse midwife specialized in high risk obstetrics and being versatile and adaptable she then transitioned ambitiously into her own business distributing roofing panels in the construction industry after immigrating to the USA. As president of her company, Sel Group

International, Liz Benham has more than 20 years of import export, sales, marketing and management experience, competently serving customers which included major retailers and wholesalers like Home Depot and Georgia Pacific. Ms. Benham successfully sold her retail customer base and a product line to a manufacturer of roofing panels, based in Pennsylvania and participated in the building of their new manufacturing facility which resulted in the expansion of annual sales from 9 million to 22 million USD.

While working in the industry and living in a beach home she recognized a need and created a solution, becoming the motivated inventor of a gadget called the Footle. (www.the footle.com) which is a hands-free attachment for a sliding screen door that allows you to use your foot to open it when going in or out of the patio, leaving your hands free to carry dishes, food etc. The tagline "instead of a Hand-le you now also have a Foot-le!" has been used to successfully market the product on the Web.

Ms. Benham is one who believes in giving back to the community and has contributed countless hours of her time to benefit others. She serves as vice president of the New York Toys of Hope Charity which distributes toys and needed items to thousands of local families, and also holds a board position on the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, a national treasure and beacon of light near her home. She is a founder and board member of the Women Builders Council in New York, an organization that advocates for and supports women-owned businesses in the building industry. She is also a frequent speaker for the students of the Master of Business Administration Program at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.

As a self assured and upbeat woman, Liz's hobbies and interests are multitudinous. She was a fun skydiver for many years and an enthusiastic international skydiving judge, having participated in world championships in Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Canada and the USA. In addition she holds an airplane glider pilot's license. She is a music lover, a passionate reader, a horseback rider and a favors walking on the beach and gardening.

Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes President, National Council of Women of the Philippines
Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes
President, National Council of Women of the Philippines

Lecturer brief history

Dr. Amelou Benitez Reyes, recent president and life-time trustee of The Philippine Women's University, is the eldest of the 3rd generation of Benitezes. She continues the family commitment of service to the nation and assumed the University's 8th president and 4th Philwomenian alumna to occupy this top post. Dr. Reyes held the distinction of being the first president for the three campuses―The Philippine Women's University in Manila and Quezon City, as well as the Philippine Women's College in Davao and the other PWU CDCEC learning centers.

The academic achievements of Dr. Reyes include a double cum laude at The Philippine Women's University where she graduated with the degree Bachelor of Arts, major in psychology in 1961, and Bachelor of Science in Education, major in guidance and counseling in 1962. She completed Master of Arts in Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University, another masters degree in Political Sociology and a doctoral degree in Development Education at Stanford University, U.S.A. In 2007, Dr. Reyes received the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the Far East University Korea, in recognition of her staunch advocacy towards the empowerment of women, in particular through education.

In the academic field, Dr. Reyes is active both locally and internationally, as Executive Committee Member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP); as one of the key members of Women's Education Worldwide, a pioneering education movement for women's education; as Vice President for Academic Affairs for PHILCONSA or the Philippine Constitution Association; as 2nd Vice President of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU); as Board of Trustee of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA); and as President Chairperson of the Development Institute of Women in Asia-Pacific (DIWA).

Her other involvements in international advocacies include her role as Project Overseer for the APEC Gender Information Sessions, and as representative to the APEC Women Leaders' Network Focal Point―continuing her service in government as Commissioner of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) since 1998, for which she was Chairperson from 1998 to 2001.

In civil society she is active as Vice-Chair/Chief Operating Officer, FTB Rurban Development Foundation; and President and life-time Board Member, National Council of Women in the Philippines (NCWP). In this capacity, she was elected President of the Asian Confederation of Women Organizations (ACWO) in Brunei 2008. In June 2009, she was elected member of the Central Board of the Girl Scout of the Philippines (GSP). In its most recent elections, Dr. Reyes was elected Board Member of Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM).

Hon Pansy Wong Minister for Women's Affairs and Ethnic Affairs, New Zealand
Hon Pansy Wong
Minister for Women's Affairs and Ethnic Affairs, New Zealand

Lecturer brief history

Pansy Yu Fong Wong was born in Shanghai, China, and grew up in Hong Kong. She moved to Christchurch in 1974, where she lived for 28 years, and attended Canterbury University, where she gained her Master of Commerce (Honours).

She is an Associated Chartered Accountant and has also been awarded as a Fellow.

Pansy first entered politics as a Canterbury Regional Councillor in 1989, and first entered Parliament in 1996 as a National List MP and New Zealand's first MP of Asian ethnicity. She moved to Auckland in 2002 and won the seat of Botany with a margin of over 10,000 in the 2008 General Election thus making her the first Asian New Zealander to win an electorate as well as the first Minister of Cabinet of Asian ethnicity.

Her busy life and determination to serve the country would not be possible without the support of her husband, Malaysian born businessman, Sammy Teck Seng Wong. Her interests include reading (particularly thrillers), walking (door knocking), wine and sake appreciation, travel, and working.

Ms. Nicole Hollows CEO & Managing Director, Macarthur Coal Ltd
Ms. Nicole Hollows
CEO & Managing Director, Macarthur Coal Ltd

Lecturer brief history

Nicole Hollows was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Macarthur Coal in January 2007 and Managing Director in June 2007. Prior to this Nicole held the positions of Acting CEO, Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer.

Nicole joined the group in 1998 and Macarthur Coal Limited listed on 5 July 2001 at $128 million market capitalisation. In her role Nicole leads a team of over 350 employees and is recognised as one of Australia's emerging business leaders.

In 2007 Nicole was appointed to the Board of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and became president of the QRC in November 2008. Nicole's memberships include the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries Australia. In 2008 Nicole joined the QUT Faculty of Business Executive Dean's CEO Strategy Group and in 2009 the Board of the Queensland Museum Foundation.

In 2009 Nicole was awarded both the QUT Outstanding Alumni Award for Faculty of Business and the Veuve Clicquot Rising Star Award.

Ms. Kimie Iwata Representative Director & Executive Vice President, SHISEIDO CO., Ltd.
Ms. Kimie Iwata
Representative Director & Executive Vice President, SHISEIDO CO., Ltd.

Lecturer brief history

1971 to 2003
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Tokyo.
transferred to the Secretariat of OECD ,Paris
Director, OSAKA Women's and Young Workers' Office.
Director, Welfare Division, Workers' Welfare Department, Labour Relations Bureau.
Director, Policy Planning Division, Women's Bureau.
Director, International Labour Affairs Division, Minister's Secretariat.
Director, Personal Affairs Division, Minister's Secretariat.
Ministerial Councilor, Human Resources Development, Minister's Secretariat.
Assistant Minister of Labour.
Director-General, Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau.
to date SHISEIDO Co., Ltd., Tokyo.
Director, Corporate Officer,
Responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility
Director, Corporate Officer,
Responsible for Personnel, Executive Department and Consumer Information.
Director, Corporate Executive Officer,
Responsible for Personnel and Consumer Information
to date Executive Vice President, Representative Director
Ms. Fumiko Hayashi Mayor, City of Yokohama, Japan
Ms. Fumiko Hayashi
Mayor, City of Yokohama, Japan

Lecturer brief history

Date of Birth

May 5th, 1946




Graduated from Tokyo Metropolitan Aoyama High School

Employment History

Toyo Rayon, Co., Ltd. (currently: Toray Industries, Inc.)
Matsushita Electric Industrial, Co., Ltd. (currently: Panasonic Corporation) etc.
Entered Honda Cars Yokohama, Inc. Transferred to Honda Clio Kanagawakita, Inc.
Entered BMW Tokyo Division (currently: BMW Tokyo, Corp.)
Manager, BMW Tokyo, Corp. Shinjuku Branch
Manager, BMW Tokyo, Corp. Central Branch
President, Fahren Tokyo K.K. (currently: Volkswagen Tokyo K.K.)
President, BMW Tokyo, Corp.
Chairperson and CEO, The Daiei, Inc.
Vice Chairperson, The Daiei, Inc.
May 2008
Operating Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
June 2008
President, Tokyo Nissan Auto Sales Co., Ltd.
August 2009
Mayor of the City of Yokohama

Other Offices Held

Member of the Council for Gender Equality of the Cabinet Office of Japan

Affiliate Professor, Tokyo Jogakkan College

Awards and Honors

Selected as one of Wall Street Journal's "50 Women to Watch"
Selected as one of Forbes Magazine's "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women"
Selected as one of Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business: International"
Selected as 1st Place in the Career Create category in Nikkei Woman Magazine's "Women of the Year 2006"
Recipient of the Harvard Business School Businesswoman Award
Selected as one of Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business: International"


"I'm sorry, but you won't get many sales using that sales method" AkiShobo Co., Ltd

"It's wonderful to try one's best" Soshisha Publishing Co.

"One more secret phrase to making work go mysteriously well" Soshisha Publishing Co.