In September, Sony held Diversity Week 2018 at Sony offices across the globe. Events included a range of seminars, workshops, fairs and other experiences to promote diversity and inclusion, as well as new and innovative working styles.
Kenichiro Yoshida, President and CEO, Sony Corporation shared a message for Sony Diversity Week 2018, “understanding people’s various values based on different viewpoints and experiences enables us to better understand their motivations and expectations”, which aligns with our corporate direction of “Getting Closer to People.” Through the diversification of our business portfolio, Sony’s employees and customers are also diverse. In order to continue to foster the creation of diverse “Communities of Interests”, it is essential that we encourage and sustain a working environment where the uniqueness of each individual is respected, each person can maximize their full potential, and is able to work without any hesitations throughout Sony Group, globally.
The Sony offices in Japan hosted a wide variety of events featuring a diverse spectrum of identities, and each event provided the diverse insights, value and challenges for employees to understand the range of human differences and strive for personal development.
The event “Challenges anytime, anybody, anywhere”, included Ms. Masako Wakamiya (who spoke at the United Nations as an “83 year old Digital creator”) to speak about her experiences and challenges which proves that age is not a barrier. It was followed by a panel discussion by panelists consisting of diverse generations who are active in variety of fields inside and outside of Sony. Through the panel session, participants had a chance to feel the spirit that everyone can try new things anytime, and anywhere. The event was able to help employees deepen their understanding that Diversity is the source of Sony’s value creation, while building a corporate culture that allows new perspectives and welcomes new challenges. Over 4,900 employees in Japan participated in wide offering of events during Diversity Week to celebrate the value of diversity in the workplace and to acknowledge the importance of all working styles.
Innovation begins with Diversity and Inclusion. This year, in support of global Diversity activities, Sony North America (SNA) partnered with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and our collective Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to showcase their commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace, with a Diversity Fair. The event drew over 650 employees who visited ERG booths, indulged in internationally inspired food, and were treated to raffles and a Kimono fashion show. In addition, SNA hosted a Diversity and Inclusion “Think Tank” with key note speaker Simon Bailey. The “Think Tank” was offered to influence the conversation and amplify the value in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, and the impact to business as business leaders. Over 175 participants representing a variety of industries were inspired by Sony's investment and leadership to impact the San Diego community in a positive way. We also leveraged the opportunity to highlight recent awards for being a great place to work.
SPE hosted a variety of activities to celebrate Diversity Week.
SPE’s Black and LatinX Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) attended a Black Women in Media Collective panel on the importance of diverse perspectives in the entertainment industry. Led by prominent women in music, film and television— including Sony ATV’s Edina Fallah and SPE’s Ellene Miles, Senior Vice President of Intersectional Marketing.
SPE senior leaders and Miami-based employees participated in training sessions focused on how unconscious bias impacts day-to-day decisions. Groups discussed realistic strategies to support a more inclusive culture. In Culver City, 102 employees attended an Unconscious Bias Lunch and Learn session, facilitated by the Neuro Leadership Institute.
Sponsored by SPE’s LatinX EBRG (VOZ), Culver City employees were able to enjoy cuisine from different Latin American regions while learning about their cultural origins.
SPE’s Culver City EBRGs hosted their annual fair on the studio lot. Over 600 employees learned about the EBRGs with many registering as new members.
Mike Hopkins, Chairman of Sony Pictures Television (SPT) kicked off the 5th year of the Diverse Directors Program. Many of the program’s alumni have gone on to direct TV episodes, major features and in one case, gone on to win an Oscar.
During the week of 24-28 of September, SPEE’s UK office celebrated diversity and inclusion through a series of workshops, talks and events around this year's national theme of "Everyday Inclusion." The sessions were designed to be short, informative and interactive, including the launch of the UK version of SPE's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and a workshop on inclusive leadership.
The UK's two employee business resource groups, AGENDA and Spotlight (formerly known as Meltdowns), took center stage. AGENDA launched its interactive display, The Road to Gender Equality, inviting feedback on how to work together for greater equality, and Spotlight hosted its Skill Swap Experiment. “The Skill Swap Experiment is a game they implemented to help with networking in the office. During National Inclusion Week, all employees had access to a box where they could post which skills they would like to learn or to teach. At the end of the week, they reviewed all submitted skills and matched people. Participants were invited to a breakfast where they will meet the colleagues with the same interests. Among the interests expressed, they had Spanish language skills, Excel, video editing, table tennis and playing the ukulele. We hope that it will encourage our community to share and grow together.”
Another popular event was a mindfulness session led by Mark Clements, Regional HR Head at Sony Europe. Inclusion week finished with a ceremony held at the British Film Institute where we were awarded 'Pioneer' status for participating in a new benchmarking index, the National Inclusion Standard.
Diversity week at SOLA offers us the opportunity to expand and enrich our minds and gain new perspectives from the experiences of others who may find themselves in unique circumstances. In years past, we have hosted guests to share their experiences as an LGBTQ individual, as women leaders in our community, as well as sharing about racial differences. This year our efforts targeted understanding those living with disabilities, and as a subtheme, we focused on millennials in our workplace. Two different themes to appeal to a broader workforce.
As we have a partnership with the second largest college in the United States, Miami Dade College, each semester we invite interns for 6 week terms to work within our business units. On November 5, as part of their internships, the interns delivered presentations for our employees to share how they viewed Sony before they came to work for us and as their term concluded. This insight is invaluable to our strategy to attract and retain the millennial demographic.
Continuing our partnership with Miami Dade College, on November 8, we had the honor of hosting Ms. Corrinne Lockamy. Corinne is the Director for 2 Miami-Dade Campuses and also has a disability that requires her to use a wheelchair. Our employees got the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum. Although our challenges may differ, Ms. Lockamy shared how she overcame obstacles to reach her professional and personal goals.
We also shared the profiles of Arthur Ashe, Esturo Sotoo, and Jamie Brewer. All extraordinary individuals who have overcome personal challenges to make their mark in history.
We are thankful each year to pause and reflect upon the diversity that makes each of us unique. Often, we don’t know the struggles of others, within our workforce or the challenges they may face at home. It makes us a stronger community of professionals when we can understand our colleagues’ differences as well as make us better people to support those who work beside us.
This year, Sony Electronics Singapore emphasized the importance of having an inclusive and harmonious workplace and share simple, practical tips that all employees can use in their daily interactions with fellow colleagues. Short refreshers of past year’s topic on Unconscious Bias were also shared to remind employees to be mindful and aware of stereotypes they may have and to work on overcoming them.
Email blasts were used to create the hype of Sony Diversity Week and to build awareness before video screenings of this year’s focus in the office pantries during the week. The video screenings in the pantries also helped to create discussion and interaction among the employees when they were taking short breaks or their meals in the pantries.
Through these awareness initiatives, we aim to achieve and embrace diversity for an inclusive workplace.