Sony Corporation has won the Grand Prize in the Ikumen Award 2017, which is backed by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). As part of the Ikumen Project to encourage men to take childcare leave, the MHLW supports the Ikumen Enterprise Award forthe companies which engaged in balancing work and child-rearing..
Kenichi Mochizuki, Head of Corporate Human Resource Division, took the stage at the ceremony for the Ikumen Enterprise Award 2017 and Ikumen Boss Award 2017 held as part of the Ikumen Project for supporting male employees who engage in both work and childcare.
Sony Corporation (Minato-ku, Tokyo) / Hulic Co., Ltd. (Chuo-ku, Tokyo)
AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (Minato-ku, Tokyo) / K.K. Awashimado, Yawatahama City, Ehime Prefecture
Sony holds 'Working Fathers' Meetings' for male employees who are involved in childcare、 and their bosses, and introduces 'Ikumen Role Models' on its websites. The company's president and directors in charge of personnel give speeches on the importance of diversity and the use of human resources to support the childcare/work concept, and hold town hall meetings where male employees who have taken childcare leave participate in panel discussions.
Education and upbringing frequently encourage fixed male and female roles in work distribution. In response to the changing times, Sony has adopted a program that enables employees to work towards mitigating their unconscious bias in daily management and decision-making by becoming aware of their own gender bias through participation in child rearing and similar measures.
Sony has established a uniform 20-day paid vacation scheme that can be used in tandem with childcare leave. It also pays a monthly childcare subsidy of \50,000 yen to provide economic support during childcare leave.
The company has been presenting school bags to the children of employees when they enter primary school under an initiative launched by Sony founder Masaru Ibuka in 1959. Children of Sony employees who visit the company for the school bag presentation ceremony are able to see where their parents work and eat together with them in the staff canteen.
One of Sony's largest events is Family Day, in which over 5,000 employees and their families participate. In addition to helping raise children with a sense of what work and occupation mean, Family Day provides an opportunity for deepening mutual understanding through interchanges between families and the workplace as part of the promotion of an appropriate work/life balance.
The scheme aims to raise individual employee productivity and output by enhancing the organization's operational efficiency and fostering an organizational climate that encourages the generation of ideas. Making use of communication tools enables employees to participate in meetings from home and helps create an environment where operations can be carried out irrespective of location. Establishing department-specific rules and other measures allows each workplace to create conditions where individual members can function easily without any loss of efficiency.
'Time Project' activities aim to restructure and optimize operations to create unique, Sony-style working methods that go beyond simply reducing working hours to ensure ongoing innovation by enabling individual workplaces to take the lead in initiatives that suit their specific needs and circumstances instead of creating a 'one-size fits all' solution. The project got underway on a trial basis in certain workplaces under the ownership of the top management of individual group companies from fiscal 2016. From the current fiscal year, the group has started adopting those work style initiatives that yielded good results during the last fiscal year on a wider basis, as well as instituting overtime-free days and encouraging anew the adoption of 'flex holidays' (planned acquisition of 10 days of annual vacation).