In September, Sony Diversity Week 2017 was held at major Sony offices across the globe participating, hosting a range of seminars, workshops, fairs and other experiences in order to promote diversity and inclusion, as well as new and innovative working styles for employees.
Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation shared in his recent message on Sony Diversity Week 2017, that the key to Sony's continued success is its people working openly together, combining amazing talent with diverse perspectives and a creative spirit as "One Sony". He urged everyone to join in and support the activities held at Sony Group companies worldwide to further recognize the diversity of our colleagues, and respect everyone's individual values.
The Sony offices in Japan hosted a wide variety of events featuring a diverse spectrum of identities, including people with disabilities, working fathers, employees who are going to face care-giving near future, and those seeking for new workstyles. "Diversity Theater" was held to create a more LGBT friendly environment in Japan and around 600 people from 200 entities including Sony employees gathered at Sony head office. This event featured "The Freedom to Marry", an American documentary film that covered the long journey that U.S. Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal. It followed a panel discussion by LGBT speakers and an ally from 4 different firms and companies inside and outside Sony. An active discussion took place with the diverse audience. Over 4,000 employees in Japan participated in many events during Diversity Week to celebrate the value of diversity in the workplace and to acknowledge the importance of all working styles.
SCA is delivering the unconscious bias training during an internal leadership forum and piloting programs through the Big Think Edge, a program provided by Big Think. 20 expert videos are provided to help reinforce and expand upon the lessons from Diversity Day. Each month specific videos around a theme will be highlighted for so employees can continue the conversation.
At Sony Electronics (SEL), we believe Diversity of thought is essential to innovation and to get this broad mix of perspectives, we need to bring together great talent from various backgrounds and types of expertise. It's also essential to provide managers with key skills to lead and collaborate effectively in a diverse work environment. Throughout the months of September and August, unconscious bias and civil workplace learning experiences were offered to employees at all levels.
This focuses on, how to minimize bias, and how to practice intentional inclusion within teams. Having this behavior and perspective modeled by top company leaders, Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation and Mike Fasulo, COO and President, Sony Electronics make it truly part of our culture.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the US every year from September 15 to October 15, to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. This was right in the midst and a fitting addition to Global Diversity celebrations. CHiSPA(Comunidad Hispana (Hispanic Community)), SEL's Latino/Hispanic Employee Network Group, offered, a speaker series, movie screening and cooking class for employees.
WOMEN Unlimited, Inc., a leading provider of organizational solutions and initiatives to empower women as leaders, was invited by Sony Electronics for an exclusive opportunity to discuss "Why Women in Leadership Makes Dollars and Sense".
Sony Electronics fosters a work environment where every employee's voice is heard and respected. In support of this effort, the breakfast was hosted with WOMEN Unlimited to discuss women in the workplace. The early morning event began with an overview of WOMEN Unlimited specifically touching on the three pillars of mentoring, education and networking that are unique and maximize the participants' full growth and transformation.
Sony offices in Canada also were inspired to demonstrate their inclusive work environment. WAVE, the Women's Employees Network group, offered workshops and the cafe featured foods from around the world, highlighting various cultures each day.
Sony Pictures Entertainment enjoyed several successful events in the U.S. that celebrated Diversity throughout the months of September and October. On September 26th, SPE hosted its annual "KENKO Health Fair" during Health and Wellness Week. On September 28th, BE (Black Employees employee resource group) screened the short film, 90 Days, to raise awareness of AIDS, which was followed by a guest speaker panel featuring the film's producer. SPE also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month (from September 15th to October 15th) with several events, including a Latin cuisine lunch menu being featured throughout the month on the lot, and a live performance of Latin DJs, Play-N-Skillz. This performance was a first of its kind collaboration in which SPE partnered with Sony Music Latin and the Latinos Unidos employee resource group. Also as part of Sony Pictures Television's commitment to providing opportunities to talented artists of diverse backgrounds, the Diverse Directors Program was launched in September, providing accepted applicants with intensive episodic directing workshops.
In the United Kingdom, SPE celebrated Sony Diversity Week as part of National Inclusion Week, from September 25th to 29th. A program of events was developed around this year's theme, "Connect for Inclusion", enabling participants to hear from a range of guest speakers. Also a new internal workshop series started and colleagues share their stories of shaping careers at Sony Pictures Entertainment during the diversity week.
The core theme that we will continue to embed in all our work processes and activities is the importance of bringing our whole, authentic selves to work in order to be innovative, inspiring and inclusive as an organization, both for our colleagues and customers.
In Singapore, we promoted diversity by creating awareness about unconscious bias in order to ensure a more inclusive workplace. We enhance employee's understanding by helping them realize certain comments that they have made may unknowingly be bias towards some people.
An employee explained how unconscious biases are social stereotypes and judgments about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Judgments are often engrained because of socialization, cultural environment and personal life experiences. "We may not be aware of these views and opinions, or be aware of their full impact and implications. Moreover, these biases also prevent us from treating everyone in the workplace fairly, making decisions and managing organizations appropriately." Our human resource division raises employee's awareness of unconscious attitudes and behaviors through a series of activities including holding lunch talks, putting up of posters in the workplace and email blasts. They also launch e-quizzes for employee's participation to help encourage individual's cognizance on inclusion. "These initiatives enable us to recognize the diverse backgrounds of our colleagues, and respect everyone's individual values."