Aflac - Mentor or Coach of the Year
Company: Aflac, Columbus, GA
Entry Submitted By: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Company Description: For 62 years, Aflac, the leading provider of supplemental insurance in the U.S., helps provide policyholders with peace of mind so they can focus on recovery, not financial stress. When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays for eligible claims in one business day through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative. Visit aflac.com to learn more.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Mentor or Coach of the Year – Business
Nomination Title: June Howard, SVP Financial Services and Chief Accounting Officer
Describe for the judges the nominated individual's activities and accomplishments that supported women in business since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
As senior vice president of Financial Services and chief accounting officer of Aflac, June Howard has been a driver for both promoting women’s excellence and connecting global operations to create unified, high-performing and inclusive teams within the company in both the U.S. and Japan. June was a driving force in developing Aflac’s All Aflac program, designed to bridge the divide between U.S. and Japanese cultural barriers. June has boosted diversity, elevated women’s contributions, fostered a “one team” culture committed to success and has promoted employee development within a company operating in two distinct cultures.
Recently, June utilized the All Aflac program to unify her team and empower women across the company. With responsibilities split between operations in Japan—where more than 75 percent of the company’s income is generated—and Columbus, Georgia, June recognized her team spanned two diverse cultures. In response, she delivered to women in Japan the same opportunities afforded those in Georgia, leading to significant cultural challenges to overcome in a male-dominated work culture. Aflac inspires employees across locations to work as one cohesive company, enabling the business to run more efficiently. Contributing to this goal, All Aflac promotes understanding of the cultural challenges and pressures that working women face in Japan, where opportunities are historically limited, and encourages female colleagues to invest in their careers and participate in professional development programs. Under June’s leadership, this program has helped introduce flexible work schedules and reduced work hours, allowing for additional family support, and has driven increased retention of female employees in Japan. In addition, June’s team of 171 employees is 61 percent female.
Aligned with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s goal of growing female participation in the workforce and his call for Japanese corporations to fill at least 30 percent of their leadership positions with women by 2020, June has been instrumental in introducing Aflac’s Women in Leadership Global Conference, which features lectures, panel discussions, and workshops led by female Aflac leaders from both the U.S. and Japan. Attended by Japan-based female employees, the conference helps attendees develop strategies to address work-life balance challenges and encourages participation in training and mentorship programs. By inspiring women to capitalize on available career advancement opportunities, June has helped empower this important demographic. June’s efforts associated with All Aflac and the Aflac Women in Leadership Global Conference have helped Aflac achieve the L-Boshi rating of achievement, the highest rating granted from the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, in July 2016 for its commitment to advocacy for women’s empowerment in Japan. Aflac earned the Japan Women’s Innovative Network’s 2016 J-WIN Diversity Award, which recognized the commitment of June and the senior team at Aflac to enabling women to reach leadership positions. Furthermore, Aflac Japan is on a pace to meet and exceed the goals set by Prime Minister Abe.
June spearheaded initiatives to boost diversity, foster collaboration and promote employee development, while continually working to elevate the role of women on her team in the U.S. and Japan. June has been recognized as a true women’s champion and has set an industry benchmark for successfully empowering women on a global scale.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 125 words):
June Howard joined Aflac in 2009 as senior vice president, Financial Services, and was appointed chief accounting officer in 2010. She’s responsible for consolidated accounting and financial reporting, strategic sourcing and procurement, investment accounting, tax, accounting policy, and financial planning and analysis. She was recently honored with the 2017 Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction award for her work mentoring young, minority girls in the Bold Moves program at Girls Inc.
Previously, she held financial reporting positions at ING and The Hartford and was an auditor with Ernst & Young for nearly 10 years. Howard is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, CFA Institute and the Atlanta Society of Financial Analysts.