Jun 13, 2021

Top 12 rising female business leaders in Asia

Kate Birch
11 min
Yukiko Ito, CEO, Zest

Who: Yukiko Ito
Position: Founder, Representative Director, CEO
Company: Zest, Inc. (Japan)
Industry: Software
Location: Japan

Yukiko Ito is the founder and CEO of Zest, a software company that automates schedule creation for busy medical care providers who make home visits to deliver patient care. Via the automated schedule creation software, Ito aims to optimise the medical care providers’ time for home visits, reducing the human resource shortage she sees in the health care sector.

Beginning her career as a programmer, Ito was the first Japanese female programmer at the software firm she joined, where she focused on ‘solving problems no one else could,’ and where she wanted to be actively involved in customer experience. However, at the time, in the 1980s, women weren’t allowed to speak with customers directly. Subsequently, she decided to set up Zest in 1988.

Ito landed the Grand Prize & Aflac Award in the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) & Health 2.0 Japan 2019 pitch competition. While the company has secured a number of awards: Healthcare Venture Knot 2019, and The Japan Startup Support Association (JSSA) Tokyo Award.



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