We held the Global Leadership Development Program (GLP) from August 28 to 31, and I attended the report meeting and subsequent get-together party.
The GLP originated in 2007, when we invited local managers working for our overseas subsidiaries to Japan and provided them with a training program. Held in Japan, the GLP is currently designed for managers of our both domestic and overseas group companies. This year's program drew 30 participants.
While the main feature of the four-day program was group discussions, the program also contained discourses by our board members; lectures on Sumitomo's history, the Sumitomo Spirit, legal compliance, etc.; and a tour to a facility associated with Sumitomo. As the first speaker of this year's program, I talked mainly about the Sumitomo Spirit, what must be always remembered by leaders, and how to foster human resources.
Over the past 11 years, a total of 462 persons have participated in the GLP. Some of them are now working as executives of our overseas subsidiaries. I believe that the GLP provides an invaluable opportunity for overseas employees underpinning the Sumitomo Electric Group to enhance their awareness as members of the Group and that the program should be held on a continuing basis.
The report meeting enabled me to learn about the reality of and suggestions from the GLP participants, including a female plant director in Rumania. She spoke about her hard work, managing about 4,000 staff members despite many difficulties. Listening directly to the participants, I felt very reassured. At the same time, I felt that even though there are many female leaders in our overseas group companies, Japan lags far behind, making me aware once again that Sumitomo Electric itself truly needs to change, riding the current social momentum to enable many more women to demonstrate their capabilities to the fullest extent possible.