【SF diary Vol.96】Interview with our director! (Corporate Planning group manager Mai Okamoto)

This time, I interviewed with our director, Okamoto.

She is only female director in System Friend and is a working mother of a junior high student. While parenting, she manages all back-office operations as corporate planning group manager. I asked her about values of her life and work.




―First, tell me your career.

After graduating high school, I went abroad to the UK, took ICT course in the college. After going back to Japan, I participated in planning and operating of events and interview with instructors and their education while working as an instructor of English conversation school. I really like the teaching work, so I was a temporary lecturer for TOEIC class at a vocational school in parallel. When my child was little and just before joining in System Friend, I worked at a hotel reception as part-time job. It was good chances to have conversation with customers from overseas and see hotel management; the hotel privately owned, so I sometimes helped the task of management.


―Why were you attracted to this industry?

My father worked as an engineer, so normally there was PC at home, IT was familiar to me since I was young. Even though I didn’t choose to be an engineer, this industry which creates something new made me excited, and it was attractive to be able to be involved in any position. Also, in the situation that high proportion of male engineers in IT industry, I thought it was worthing making environment for workers in various life stage regardless of genders.



―You are a mother of one child, don’t you feel hardness to balancing work and childcare?

Since my child went to kindergarten at first years, it was hard until I get used to the new life pattern. There is a kid’s room at the office, it was helpful to be able to go to the office with my daughter during her long vacation at elementary school. I couldn’t get corporation with spouse because I am a single mother, but I really appreciated that my mother who lives together always helps our family. Even though there are some limitations as a working mother, I decided to make my position like some workers would say, “Mai-san knows all about this field!” since I joined in this company. The position became recruiting and supporting highly skilled foreign professionals, and it is glad that the role was valued by various associations. Now there are some members taking childcare or working while raising children, I want to be a role model that people think it is possible to working while raising children here.




―Can you tell me the time schedule for the day?

〈daily schedule〉 

530 Get up. Preparing for my daughter’s lunch. Doing housework till breakfast.

700 Breakfast time. It is our home rule to have breakfast all family members together no matter how busy.

830 Arriving at the office. Office hour begins at 9am, but I always leave my home with time to spare.

900 Morning assembly.

930 Sales meeting.

1000 Group meeting. Sharing weekly tasks with our members.

1100 Meeting with a recruitment company at our office.

1200 Lunch time.

1300 Japanese class. Conducting Japanese lessons for foreign workers.

1500 Joining in offitre.

1600 1:1 meeting with an employee.

1800 Going home.

I always try to go to bed till 10:30pm to sleep 7 hours, but eventually it’s over 11pm… The happiest time in a day is drinking a glass of beer after taking a bath. I want to have study time in a day, but I get priority to take a rest for keeping my health. I make the distinction between work and private.


―What do you enjoy about your job?

There are a lot of operations that I work on such as general affairs, accounting, public relations, and human resources, but the task related to recruiting or human resources is the most rewarding to me. I like the time when I have conversation with each our members and applicants and listen to each idea and story. Also, I feel happy when internal projects or events that our group planned were popular to our members.


―What is the best thing about your current job?

It is hard to choose one event, but I felt glad when some of new members said to me that they wanted to work with me, or one of the reasons to choose the company was because they trusted me. I feel happy the moment when our offer accepted by applicant who I wanted to work together with as well.

Even though usually I work on back-office operations, I have a chance to speak in front of the audience at WiDS HIROHIMA symposium last year. I talked with women who active on data science field, the time made me rethink what I can do for our company to promote female success.


―In the content of presentation at the symposium as well, what do you think it is responsible for making comfortable environment for women’s success promotion?

First, it is important executive team are seriously involved in the promotion. I think comfortable environment for women equals for men, too. In our company, there are some male employees who take paid leaves in order to take care of their children who catch cold or to join in school events, or come to the office with their children. I believe it is comfortable place to work for male employees who have children. Increasing this kind of company leads to making society more women can work actively.


―What do you think is important in your work?

Respect all members regardless of title, ages, or years of service.



―What kind of members would you like to work with?

Someone who cares about work and people, we are always welcomed!


―At last, tell me your annual goal!

I will make this year focus on promoting female success and recruiting foreigners.





Thank you for having time!

It is reassuring to me there is a female director who has a child as one of the working mother.


You can check another interview with Okamoto as a recruiter from our recruit page below.



See you next interview of director~♪