Study abroad knowing the value of diversity, and working for a US company

Rie Furuta
Facebook Japan
Industry Manager

Rie Furuta Graduated 2007, Faculty of Letters, Department of English

I sell and analyze Facebook and Instagram ads for domestic entertainment and media companies. Have you seen advertisements for manga or news apps on Instagram? Along with our clients, I think about what kind of creatives we should show to what kind of user to promote their apps. I hope you’ll see the results of my work soon.

When I was a student at Meiji Gakuin, I wasn’t an outstanding student. My grades weren’t good, and I felt inferior to my cute, fashionable classmates. In my third year, my father said, “Go overseas. You can’t enjoy being a typical Japanese woman”, and it made me decide to major in Women’s Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Although my English ability didn’t improve much, and I didn’t make many friends, I found that students at UCLA didn’t care much about fashion or appearance; instead, humorous and unique people were popular and respected. I’ve since decided to just live an unique life, without worrying about what others think.

Alongside my ad sales work at Facebook, I launched an internal project for making diverse and inclusive workplace. At Facebook, we believe that a homogeneous organization doesn’t produce creativity, rather that diversity and inclusion is what makes a business grow. I want to change not only my company but also the environment in Japan so that rather than feeling inferiority, minorities can work feeling valued by their companies and the society.

My message to students

One of Facebook’s mottos is “Done is better than perfect.” The idea is that nothing will ever get done if you aim at perfection, while finishing things even in an imperfect state leads to growth. In Japan, perfectionism can sometimes lead one to feeling constrained. I hope you can spend your time more enjoyably, realizing that perfection is a myth, so you should just move on with imperfection.

Giving a presentation as part of a diversity session at Facebook in March, Women’s History Month.