WITI Hall of Fame

1999 Inductees

Yvonne C. Brill Yvonne C. Brill
Aerospace Consultant,  

Sherita T. Ceasar Sherita T. Ceasar
Vice President Product Engineering Planning and Strategy, Comcast Communications

Dr. Thelma Estrin Dr. Thelma Estrin
Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles

Claudine Simson Claudine Simson
Vice President, CTO, MOTOROLA, INC.

Yukako Uchinaga Yukako Uchinaga
Vice Chairman, Benesse Corporation and chairman of the Board, CEO/ VP Berlitz International, Inc. IBM

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Yukako Uchinaga

Yukako Uchinaga

Vice Chairman, Benesse Corporation and chairman of the Board, CEO/ VP Berlitz International, Inc. IBM

Inducted in: 1999

In April 2008, Ms. Uchinaga was named Vice Chairman of Benesse Corporation & Chairman of the Board, CEO and Vice President of Berlitz International, Inc. Benesse Corporation offers products and services in the four business fields of education, language study, living and lifestyles, and nursing care through a group of in-house companies. With 128 years of experience and more than 450 centers in over 60 countries, Berlitz provides effective language instruction, whether for business or personal enrichment.

Ms. Uchinaga joined IBM Japan, Ltd. in 1971 as a system engineer and spent her career mostly with the company. As a development engineer, Yukako Uchinaga assembled and led the team that developed the software to enable IBM computers to work with Asian languages, specifically those requiring "double byte character sets" such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

She held several management positions in development and marketing before being elected to the IBM Board of Directors in 1995. When Ms. Uchinaga was appointed to the board of directors for IBM Japan in 1995, she was the first woman appointed to the board of any major computer company in that country. She was named Vice President, Yamato Software Development Laboratory in 1999, and was promoted to General Manager, Yamato Laboratory in 2004. She assumed the position of Technical Advisor in April 2007.

In addition to her professional commitments, Ms. Uchinaga has been deeply involved in diversity related activities throughout her career. As the first woman board member of IBM Japan, she helped start IBM Japan Women's Council in 1998 and also took an active role in the IBM Asia Pacific Women's Council. She further enhanced the scope of her activities to promote diversity management in Japanese businesses and founded Japan's Women's Innovative Network (J-Win), an incorporated non-profit organization in May, 2007. She also serves as a member of the Council for Gender Equality, a cabinet office in the Government of Japan.

Ms. Uchinaga was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame in 1999, becoming the first woman inducted from outside of the United States. She was also awarded the 2006 Upward Mobility Award from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Ms. Uchinaga holds a degree in Theoretical Physics from the University of Tokyo (1971).

More information on Yukako Uchinaga is available at the following:
IBM Women in WITI Hall of Fame: Yukako Uchinaga

Profile at the time of induction in 1999