Updated on August 29, 2019

Gender, Sexual Orientation, Disabilities

Promoting Greater Opportunities for Women

Sony embraces diversity and the working contributions of women, who accounted for 31% of the workforce and held 27% of management positions at the Sony Group worldwide as of the end of fiscal 2018. In Japan, Sony has set a target to be achieved by end of fiscal 2020 for women to hold 10% of management positions in the Sony Group and 15% of management positions at Sony Corporation, and pursues initiatives to actively hire, develop, and promote women. Sony carries out "disclosure of information" and "disclosure of action plans" in accordance with the provisions of Japan's Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace, using the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's "Database of Corporate Performance in the Area of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace."

Both in and outside Japan, Sony operates a leadership program to develop leadership skills and mindsets among women and support their networking, by providing opportunities for career development and assisting the professional growth of women.

Women Employed and Women in Management Positions*1*2 (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
28.6 27.2 29.5 29.3 33.6 30.7
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
15.9 15.9 22.2 23.9 25.3 27.3
Women Employed and Women in Management Positions (Sony Group in Japan)*1*2 (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
18.6 18.6 21.3 21.0 22.1 18.8
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
5.7 4.8 6.5 7.0 8.4 9.0
Women Employed and Women in Management Positions (Sony Group in USA) (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
37.8 36.1 37.5 38.1 38.7 37.8
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
33.3 31.3 33.0 35.5 37.4 40.0
Women Employed and Women in Management Positions (Sony Group in the Mainland China and Hong Kong Region) (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
55.5 44.6 43.8 55.5 56.6 48.9
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
26.2 32.7 31.6 40.1 40.1 32.2
Women Employed and in Management Positions (Sony Group in Asia Pacific)*3 (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
42.5 46.2 43.8 37.2 49.4 46.2
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
26.4 31.1 33.7 34.5 29.1 32.8
Women Employed and in Management Positions (Sony Group in Europe) (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
34.3 36.0 34.5 36.9 35.9 37.2
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
26.6 25.9 33.6 34.9 37.5 35.3
Women Employed and in Management Positions (Sony Group in Other Areas)*4 (FY)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of women in the workforce
(%)
37.4 38.1 41.4 41.5 38.5 36.4
Percentage of management positions
held by women (%)
24.7 30.0 28.1 37.4 37.9 34.2
  • *1Totals are based on data provided by Sony Group companies as of the end of each fiscal year (March 31). The definition of "manager" varies in different countries, regions and companies.
  • *2Women in management positions at Sony Corporation: 14.8%
  • *3Southeast Asia, Oceania, India, South Korea and Taiwan Region
  • *4Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Canada
Key Activities to Promote Women's Career Development at the Sony Group around the World
Electronics
Business
(Japan)
Sony Group companies in Japan have established individual targets to be achieved by fiscal 2020, and they are advancing initiatives such as education for women employees and their managers. On International Women’s Day, senior management of the Sony Group communicated the message that Sony will leverage the different perspectives of its diverse human resources to create even better products and new value.
Sony Group
(United States)
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. sent women technologists to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration, the world’s largest international gathering of women in the field of technology, in order to help them to expand their networking with other women technologists.
Electronics
Business
(Asia)
Sony India is focusing on increasing the percentage of women in its workforce as one of its annual priority targets. This has produced positive results, and the percentage of women in management positions is also increasing, as a result of providing training for women in the workforce and implementing other initiatives.

Promoting Greater Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

The Sony Group employs and supports individuals with disabilities in compliance with the laws, regulations, and rules of the countries and regions in which it operates, while endeavoring to create inclusive working environments that enable employees to build successful careers regardless of any disabilities they may have. Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka once recalled the day when an initiative was launched, saying, “We had a spirit of autonomy and a belief in creating workplaces that do not offer charity, but rather creating an environment that makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to manufacture products that exceed those manufactured by individuals without disabilities.” The Sony Group strives to realize an environment in which individuals do not feel held back by their disability and disabilities do not create barriers, enabling everyone to thrive.

At Sony Group companies in Japan, employment know-how and experience related to past cases are integrated in a dedicated department within the human resources division. This particularly leverages knowledge gained through the special-purpose subsidiaries Sony Taiyo Corporation,*1 which was established in 1978 prior to the legal institution in Japan of special-purpose subsidiaries, and Sony Kibou/Hikari Corporation, which specializes in providing employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In addition to supporting initiatives at individual workplaces, Sony hosts a joint job fair for individuals with disabilities, an endeavor that was started over a decade ago. In March 2019, Sony Life Insurance Co., Ltd. established Sony Life Business Partners Co., Ltd. which became the Group’s third special-purpose subsidiary. Sony Life Business Partners provides outsourced administrative services to Sony Life Insurance Co., Ltd., creating an environment that enables individuals with disabilities to thrive in their own way and create a future.

In addition to employing people with disabilities at special-purpose subsidiaries, Sony Group companies in Japan are working to build inclusive working environments and actively employing individuals with disabilities themselves. Specifically, Group companies have created guidelines for equipping their working environments to accommodate individuals with disabilities and to raise employee awareness, and they hold training programs that are designed by individuals with disabilities at the special-purpose companies. Reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities are provided through extensive discussions with each individual based on group guidelines (which were established in advance of regulatory changes in Japan in 2016).

Group companies outside Japan work with organizations for individuals with disabilities to create job opportunities and engage in philanthropy to raise employee awareness. Sony China has made it a priority to employ individuals with disabilities, which is a material topic categorized under one of Sony’s CSR focus areas, “Employees.” Sites in China also jointly host job fairs at universities that have many students with disabilities. In Hong Kong, Group companies conduct workshops to facilitate communication with visually impaired persons by blindfolding the participants to experience visual impairment, modeled after workshops conducted in Japan. Sony employees in the U.S. dedicate their time to provide audio descriptions so that visually impaired persons can enjoy movies, in an effort to raise employee awareness and encourage the social participation of individuals with disabilities.

Sony also seeks to enhance social awareness of diversity and inclusion issues in Japan. Sony organizes job fairs for students with disabilities to make them aware of employment opportunities and encourage them to consider careers, aiming to help them with the job search so that they can play an active role in society in the future. Sony Taiyo Corporation holds inclusion workshops aimed at providing opportunities for elementary and junior high school students with and without disabilities to experience together the fun of science firsthand. In recognition of its initiatives, Sony Taiyo Corporation has received a Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Science and Technology award for supporting the lifelong learning of individuals with disabilities. Sony Kibou/Hikari Corporation works with outside organizations to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities to recognize their skills and strengths as well as the accommodations they need; this not only spurs their personal development but also helps shape the industry to better leverage their individual talents.

In this way, Sony supports people with disabilities to play an active role in society, making accommodations in its working environments and raising awareness of diversity and inclusion, beyond the requirements of legal compliance.

In fiscal 2018, employees with disabilities accounted for 2.85% of Sony Corporation's workforce, while the average for Sony Group companies in Japan (with over 101 employees, consolidated basis) was 2.3% as of March 2018, both above the 2.2% mandated by Japanese law for companies over a certain size.

  • ※1Sony Taiyo, Sony's first special-purpose subsidiary, has implemented concepts such as universal design and inclusive design—a comprehensive workplace design concept that emphasizes usability, environment and education to meet the needs of all people — to create a work environment in which anyone can work with and without disabilities.
Key Activities to Promote Career Development of Individuals with Disabilities at the Sony Group around the World
Sony Group (United States) Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. organized an autism discussion panel inspired by a medical drama television series. The panel members included a doctor, author, producer, and person with autism. In addition, the Sony Pictures Animation Campus hosted an autism resource fair to help autistic individuals gain meaningful employment.
Electronics Business (Asia) In China, Thailand, and Malaysia, Sony Group companies actively employ individuals with disabilities as part of their regular workforce. Sony Group companies in these regions also invited students with visual impairments to visit Sony’s workplaces, and are exchanging information with Sony’s special-purpose subsidiaries in Japan to adopt the facilities approach at their business sites while working to increase employee awareness.
Sony Group (Japan) Sony gathered examples of reasonable accommodations implemented by Group companies in Japan, sharing them as a reference for reasonable accommodations at each site. In addition, Sony gathered examples of the employment of individuals with mental disabilities and developmental disabilities by Group companies in Japan, and prepared a guide containing recommended employment considerations.

LGBT Inclusivity

The Sony Group globally strives to provide LGBT*1 employees with working environments in which they can feel comfortable being themselves.

In Japan, Sony has expanded certain personnel programs*2 to encompass same-sex partners and implements an e-learning course for all employees that covers LGBT issues, while also offering LGBT workshops.

Sony also supports the diversity of employees in other ways, such as enabling employees to use their preferred names at work, providing multipurpose restrooms, using gender-neutral uniforms, making it optional for job applicants to indicate their gender on applications, and providing private toilet and shower facilities in each room at corporate dormitories.

  • *1LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The expression is broadly used to refer to persons with diverse sexualities.
  • *2Personnel programs that have been extended to same-sex partners include monetary gifts and leave for bereavement, rent subsidies, and participation in employee family events.
LGBT Initiatives by the Sony Group around the World
Sony Group (Japan) Sony conducted an LGBT seminar and workshop for around 140 HR managers of Sony Group companies in Japan, and prepared and distributed an LGBT Handbook for HR Staff (basic edition) containing general information about LGBT. Through these initiatives, Sony is striving to create working environments where diversity is respected and promoting a deeper understanding of LGBT issues.
Sony Group (United States) In the United States, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Electronics Inc. and Sony Corporation of America achieved the maximum score of 100% based on assessments in the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, recognizing them as companies that create ideal working environments for LGBT employees. These scores reflect the level of fairness achieved within the organization toward LGBT employees, which is underpinned by rules designed to support these employees. Additionally, managers and employees participate in LGBT pride parades to raise awareness.
Sony Group (Europe) Managers and employees participate in LGBT pride parades to raise awareness.
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