Masako Ikehara

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Asia-Pacific Class of 2023
CEO, Mentor For, Japan

Masako Ikehara is the Founder and CEO of Mentor For, a platform that offers external mentoring and promotes growth for women in managerial roles.

After graduation, Masako worked at several institutions, such as a PR firm, an education-related nonprofit organization and a consulting firm. It was her enrollment in INSEAD's Executive Master in Change, where she met several female leaders from around the world, that propelled her journey as a woman entrepreneur. She realized that women can be leaders without sacrificing their careers or personal lives.

She started her first business in 2014 — a general consultancy service for human resource development. In a world where women are expected to take up predetermined roles, Masako faced several challenges and adversities, and she was also aware of the lack of diversity in organizational hierarchies. All this led to the start of the current mentor services in 2018.

In the early days, Mentor For had only two clients and two projects. But in the span of four years, the number of clients has increased by 22-fold, and the number of projects increased by 63-fold. By 2025, the company aims to expand its services to 500 projects across 185 companies.

Masako holds a BEd and MEd from Waseda University and earned Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change from INSEAD. She was awarded the 21st Women Entrepreneur Award "Growth Division" in 2022 and the Tokyo Governor's Award "Women's Power Award" in 2020.

Our vision is to close the gender gap in the decision-making levels of companies and organizations, and to produce diverse female leaders.