Cross-continental collaboration to bring families home safely
Apr 1, 2022

Atsuko Tazawa wants to improve urban safety for pedestrians, bikers and drivers throughout Asia. 

Her role as a mother, and an area portfolio manager in 3M’s Transportation Safety Division (TSD), motivates her to advocate for safer walking communities for children. That need is global, which is why 3M has developed its school zone safety program.  

“After I joined TSD, the school zone safety program became the highest priority program for me,” Atsuko said. “I believe collaborating with key stakeholders across the industry and demonstrating 3M’s unparalleled expertise in this area is the key to solving customer challenges like this.” 

Bringing families home safely 

Busy roads and unmarked intersections are common challenges children face while walking to school. Children aren’t the only ones facing danger as they navigate their community. More than half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. 

Solving pedestrian safety is a challenge that requires global collaboration. Atsuko and the TSD team work with direct customer converters, distributors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and nonprofits (NPOs) to help improve the safety conditions of school zones around the world. The team focuses on increasing visibility and awareness of school zone safety issues and also works to inspire key stakeholders, including government entities, to prioritize safety standards in their communities to make roads safer for all. 

Connected through purpose 

Atsuko joined 3M in 2017 and works with 11 different country teams in Asia, as well as other 3M global teams. She lives in Japan but frequently works with people from different cultures and across time zones. International communication isn’t a roadblock for Atsuko. She sees it as a chance to learn from people with a common purpose and goal. Sharing a purpose helps the team overcome cultural differences and put their customers first. Atsuko and her coworkers focus on unlocking each other’s potential to reimagine what’s possible for their customers and the communities they serve.  

“Our enemy is having the attitude that we know everything, and we’ve done it all,” said Atsuko. “Having the mindset that we can learn something new every day helps us perform beyond what has worked in the past.” 

Working on a global project like the school zone safety program gives 3M teams a chance to gain new insights from their colleagues. 3Mers take their new insights and apply them to the unique challenges their customers are facing.  

Working as part of a global team, Atsuko learns something new every day. It also empowers her to bring unique perspectives and innovative solutions to her customers. Atsuko is using her purpose to imagine what’s possible with school zone safety. 

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