Yuka Teraguchi is a litigation partner in MoFo’s Tokyo office. Her practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and counseling, representing clients in complex technology matters in state and federal courts and before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a day for celebrating the progress the world has made towards gender equality. Laws have changed to advance women’s rights. We have more women in high-ranking government positions and the boardroom, and more girls can choose their career without their gender being a barrier to entry.
It is also a day to remind us how much more needs to be done to achieve gender equality worldwide and to encourage ourselves to take that one extra step so that we are closer to achieving that goal.
Tell us about a female role model in your life who inspires you. How has she played a part in the movement to achieve better balance for women?
Dr. Sadako Ogata has always been one of my role models. She was the first woman to serve as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 to 2000. In that role, she helped save victims of the Gulf War, Yugoslav Wars, the Great Lakes genocide, and other major humanitarian crises. Even when faced with an unprecedented number of victims, she did not shy away. Instead, she skillfully negotiated with political and social leaders to ensure that those victims received the relief they desperately needed.
Dr. Ogata is a champion of human rights and women’s rights. One of Dr. Ogata’s many accomplishments is that she broke the stereotype of Japanese women by being independent, making her opinions known, and fighting for her beliefs in a male-dominated world. Her leadership inspires me to do the same in my career and life.
How have you seen MoFo embrace gender balance as a business priority?
MoFo is deeply invested in training the next generation of women attorneys and in promoting advancement of women in our legal profession. MoFo realizes that we cannot achieve gender equality in the legal profession alone. As a result, MoFo has actively reached out to our clients and other women leaders to help do so together.
For example, in Tokyo, we have hosted a series of Women in Business seminars, where industry leaders, in-house counsel, and MoFo attorneys get together to discuss cutting-edge legal issues that affect all of us today. Post-seminar dinners provide a rare opportunity to learn how successful women in our legal profession have paved their own career paths.
Read more Q&As from our global community of MoFo Women here.