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Women in Action 2016 event underscores Astellas’ female empowerment initiatives
Two-day event features Robin Roberts, Ronda Rousey, Amy Cuddy and exclusive video interview with Malala Yousafzai

NORTHBROOK, Ill., July 11, 2016 – Astellas today announced that it will host a cutting-edge event on female empowerment, titled Women in Action 2016, on July 14 and 15 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois. The event aims to connect the women of Astellas and teenage girls to inspire leadership and confidence, overcome challenges and succeed by making meaningful contributions that will improve global society.

Headlining the event will be several transcendent women who embody these characteristics, including:

  • Robin Roberts: Emmy® award-winning journalist and author
  • Malala Yousafzai (via an exclusive video interview): Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for girls’ education and equality
  • Ronda Rousey: Mixed martial artist, judoka and actor
  • Amy Cuddy: Social psychologist, author and lecturer

Astellas Global President and CEO Yoshihiko Hatanaka will open the event by sharing his personal commitment to gender equality and will address Astellas’ dedication to advancing women’s leadership. In addition, Astellas Chief Medical Officer Sef Kurstjens will address the importance of supporting women’s voices in science and healthcare and will emphasize the important role men play in achieving these objectives.

“Empowering women is paramount, not only for industry, but also for our future as a global society,” said Hatanaka. “I look forward to learning from our attendees and sharing ideas about the ways in which everyone, including men, can do more to achieve gender parity in the global workplace.”

Women in Action 2016 is open to all female employees of Astellas Americas and a teenage female guest of their choice between the ages of 14 and 18. Through this event, Astellas is providing teenage girls with the interpersonal tools they need to excel in school and the workplace.  Girls will also learn to find and use their unique voices to shape the future of women in the workplace.

“Astellas is committed to advocating for female empowerment in all aspects of society – with a particular emphasis on the workplace,” said Collette Taylor, senior vice president, Human Resources and Facilities. “We have made a profound commitment to diversity and inclusion, and Women in Action 2016 represents an opportunity for Astellas, our employees and teen girls to help drive the global discussion on gender equality.”

Astellas also invited 25 girls from Astellas USA Foundation-sponsored “Stellar Girls” program, which is focused on enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the Chicagoland area. To date, over 600 girls from 25 Chicago-area schools have participated in the program, inspiring the next generation of scientists to pursue STEM fields.

About Astellas

Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at or LinkedIn at

For further information: Tarsis Lopez Office: 224-205-8833, Cell: 847-224-8374, Email:
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