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Gina Whittle

Gina & Partners

Date of birth: Nov. 2, 1979

Hometown: Queenstown, New Zealand

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 18 (as of March 2019)

Gina Whittle
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

After studying Japanese at university in New Zealand I was awarded a Monbusho scholarship. In 1998 I traveled to Japan and studied at Kyushu Women’s University for a year.
I returned to New Zealand to graduate and three days later I was back on the plane to Japan. I established my company in New Zealand at the age of 22 and my company in Japan at the age of 24.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

Win-win in all my relationships, professional and personal. My goal is to be financially independent. I was raised in an entrepreneurial family where I was encouraged to work hard and achieve my goals.
I also want to enjoy my life outside my professional career and inspire people to create and maintain balance in life, including exercise, a good diet, relationships and passions.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Many people assume that being a foreign white female, doing business here in Japan is a disadvantage. In fact, I have found the Japanese business community to be very receptive, and many doors have opened for me.
I am proud of establishing a successful company based in Japan and New Zealand and combining positive elements from both cultures to create positive change in the lives of our clients.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

To continue to grow my company and the benefits it brings to our clients and our staff. New Zealand has recently selected its third female prime minister, who is only the second world leader to give birth while in office. My current life goal is to raise a family while retaining my position as CEO of my company.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

My advice to Japanese people is to expose yourself to many different cultures and to open your world both professionally and socially by studying another language.
To Japanese females I would like to say aim high, believe in your dreams and that being female these days is no limitation to what you can achieve in any way.
To any expats living in Japan I also advise them to embrace the Japanese language and culture, as this will assist them to maximize their business and/or employment opportunities in Japan. Be persistent and don't give up!

Last updated: Mar 18, 2019