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How the first female executive of Aflac Japan was promoted

Dan Amos, the long time CEO of healthcare insurance company Aflac (AFL) prides himself on equality and diversity in the workplace. In Japan, where Aflac conducts close to 70% of its business, Amos was confused as to why women were not being promoted to executive leadership positions. He asked the senior leadership team in Japan to give him the names of qualified female candidates to promote. After two years of back and forth, the Japanese leadership at Aflac came back empty-handed. Amos then turned the tables and rejected a list of male promotions he was asked to sign off on. Amos says, “God touched them that night,” and they came back to him with a candidate. In 1997 Mikie Yumoto, became the first female senior vice president of Aflac Japan.

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This post was written by Brian Vitagliano.

Video transcript

Aflac CEO Dan Amos is committed to equality and diversity in qualified candidates.

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Women have played an important role since the inception of the company in the US.

Aflac conducts close to 70% of its business in Japan.

But Amos got push back in his efforts to promote women there, said, I want a woman promoted, you choose them, tell me who it is After two years of back and forth leadership at AFLAC, Japan said they didn't want to.

I was about to get the list of officer promotions and I went and got a red magic marker and I wrote as big as I could reject it and I said, I don't know how culture works over here, but I know one thing.

We're not gonna promote a single male till I get a female and they came back and they said, Here's the person And after 16 years, working at Aflac as a sales representative and later managing the training department, Mike Yumoto became the first senior executive at AFLAC Japan in 1997