While various programs and courses for women's empowerment in Japan exist, the focus is generally limited to either the Japanese market or the international community, with nothing in between. However, a new bilingual program aims to cross language and cultural barriers and help all women move ahead in their professional and personal lives — sharing with and learning from each other in the process.

This innovative project is known as the Springboard Work and Personal Development Programme for Women. Originally created in the U.K. by the Springboard Consultancy 28 years ago, it has since been delivered to more than a quarter of a million of women in 45 countries. The program aims to be relevant to women of any background, at any age.

Fiona Creaser, an associate professor in the University of Kitakyushu's English Department, participated as a university student in Britain 18 years ago. She is now one of the multinational team bringing the Springboard Programme to Japan.