Meiko Takayama is a visionary CEO and serial entrepreneur, founding the leading training and development company focused on accelerating the careers of women, AWE | Advancing Women Executives and now launching an enterprise software start-up. A 26th generation rebel born of immigrant parents, Meiko is a connector, a global change agent, and a tireless advocate for equity in the workplace. She is a sought after thought-leader and expert, and speaks annually to thousands of professionals on the topics of diversity in the workplace, branding, networking, sponsorship, unconscious bias and storytelling in business.
After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, Meiko had a successful career in the art field in Europe and New York before changing her focus to business consulting. She was a Managing Director with CEB (now Gartner), through the company’s successful IPO and growth to $450 million in revenues. After many years of managing the West Coast, Meiko became an executive recruiter and continued to experience first-hand the lack of diversity on leadership teams. In an effort to create a paradigm shift in the way companies looked at accelerating the careers of underrepresented professionals, AWE | Advancing Women Executives, was born in 2012.
Today, AWE has partnered with over 1500 women from Fortune 500 companies and annually trains over 10,000 employees on topics like professional branding, networking and executive presence.
Meiko has been named a Women of Influence by LA Biz, a Woman of Promise by Comerica Bank and the LA Lakers, and was featured in BCBG’s Holiday Catalog as part of their series on influential and powerful women. She’s been on the Board of Directors for South Central Scholars and is active with her sons’ school.
Meiko speaks regularly at Fortune 500 companies and conferences, including Northwestern University, Occidental College, IIT Global Conference, West Hollywood Women’s Leadership Conference, Women in Technology Hollywood, UPWARD, Women of LAVA, Harvard Business School Association of Southern California, and Silicon Valley’s Influencer Series.
While making the world a better place, Meiko can also be found laughing with her husband and two teenage sons in Los Angeles, enjoying a meal and mahjongg with friends, supporting political candidates, and planning her next international holiday.