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Management Approach

Materiality Rationale

Since its establishment, Sony has sought to remain at the forefront of technological development, building continuously on its achievements to deliver new value for people everywhere. In these efforts, Sony recognizes the people who work at Sony to be its most important resource. Employees are important stakeholders in Sony's diversified, global business and are the key to its efforts to generate sustainable social value and a high level of profit. Sony is committed to increasing employee engagement by leveraging the diversity and ambitions of its people and maximizing their talents. Sony seeks to sustainably elevate its talent and organizational capabilities in order to raise its overall business performance.

Basic Approach

Sony considers employees to be among its most important stakeholders and views them not as a group, but as individuals. Sony values employee engagement as the key to unleashing the full potential of individual employees with their own strong motivation, autonomy and desire to grow. Sony's Founding Prospectus, written in 1946 by co-founder Masaru Ibuka, states that Sony should "establish an ideal factory that stresses a spirit of freedom and open-mindedness, where engineers with sincere motivation can exercise their technological skills to the highest level," and it should "place emphasis on a person's ability, performance and character," so that "each individual can fully exercise their abilities and skills." This approach has been passed down unchanged to the present day. The partnership of choice between Sony and each individual employee is defined as one where each party is accountable for being responsive to the needs of the other. Sony believes that the growth of the individual will lead to growth of the organization and, in turn, the growth of Sony. Its sustainable growth brings opportunities for employees to take on new challenges and grow. The diversity of Sony's businesses and people is one of its strengths and a driver for creating value. For Sony to sustainably create value by striving for diverse businesses and taking on unique employees, it is essential that employees are fully aware of and resonate with Sony's Purpose & Values. Sony has defined "What we offer our people" and "People we look for" to be shared across the Group to illustrate the kinds of people Sony wants.

"What We Offer Our People" and "People We Look For"

What We Offer Our People People We Look For
  • Environment that respects and supports each individual's challenging spirit and willingness to grow to realize our dream and aspiration to fill the world with emotion
  • Accumulation and evolution of a wide range of technologies that fully utilize individual creativity and serve as the foundation for creating new value
  • Wide variety of global career opportunities and possibilities unique to the Sony Group's diverse business portfolio
  • Inclusive culture harnessing the diversity of teams, viewpoints and cultures
  • Pioneer the future with dreams and curiosity
  • Pursue the creation of the very best by harnessing diversity and varying viewpoints
  • Earn the trust for the Sony brand through ethical and responsible conduct
  • Fulfill our stakeholder responsibilities through disciplined business practices

Sony seeks to maximize the talents of each employee and to foster innovation. Sony respects and fosters an inclusive acceptance of diversity in its many forms including race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, beliefs, disability, gender, age, birthplace, sexual orientation, values, and workstyles. Sony's vision of diversity and inclusion seeks to build an organizational culture that respects diversity and helps create value for customers. Sony's HR strategic framework has three components: "Attract" (talent acquisition) , "Develop" (learning and development) , and "Engage" (employee engagement) . Under the framework, Sony pursues a broad range of activities, building on a commitment to offering working conditions that contribute to the health and safety of employees.


Senior management meet to discuss and decide upon important matters relating to employees at the Sony Group and guide the HR strategies implemented by Sony Group companies. Sony shares a common HR strategic framework across the group. However, each business is responsible for the independent development and implementation of its own detailed strategies.

Sony has established the Diversity Committee, which reports directly to the CEO, to ensure that diversity & inclusion is addressed as a high-priority issue. Sony also operates reporting hotlines and other avenues for employees to get consultation on a broad range of issues including human rights, work-life balance, parenting, nursing care, and LGBT concerns.

When it comes to occupational health and safety (OHS) , Sony has migrated its site-based management systems worldwide, which were based on OHSAS18001, to the Sony Occupational Health and Safety Management System, which is based on ISO 45001,*1 thereby strengthening and facilitating its OHS activities.

  • *1International standard for OHS management systems

Main Achievements in Fiscal 2019

Here are the main results of fiscal 2019 initiatives:

  • ●Diversity & Inclusion
    • - Held Sony Diversity Week around the world for the fourth consecutive year to raise awareness and promote action for change by enhancing recognition and understanding of the significance of diversity
    • - Joined The Valuable 500, an international initiative launched at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to promote participation by individuals with disabilities so that they can demonstrate their latent potential to bring value to business, society, and the economy
    • - As a co-sponsor of Pride House Tokyo 2019, co-hosted a lecture and panel discussion entitled, "Diversity Talk with UDA," with the University Diversity Alliance (UDA)
    • - Held communication workshops on managing non-Japanese employees as part of efforts to build greater trust in relationships with and boost the motivation of non-Japanese employees
  • ●Talent Development
    • - Promoted the use of the PORT, a venue for developing new talent that offers access to training and interviews related to skill development and career paths, various events and seminars, and employees' self-organized community activities for continuous education
    • - Carried out Sony University global leadership programs in and outside of Japan (continued from 2000)
    • - Continued operating the Sony Outstanding Engineer Award, the most prestigious personal award for engineers in the Sony Group, and the Distinguished Engineer as a group-wide designation system
    • - At Sony Technology Exchange Fair, a group-wide exchange event for engineers, held seminars and panel discussions chaired by its Distinguished Engineers and Open Innovation Showcase for recipients of investments from the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF) .
  • ●Employee Engagement
    • - Facilitated communication between top management (including the CEO) and Sony employees in and outside of Japan (direct dialogue, dispatch of information)
    • - Conducted global employee engagement surveys and held workshop based on results (continued from 2011)
    • - Group companies in the USA and UK in the music business adopted policies to extend the parenting leave if an employee or their spouse gives birth prematurely
    • - Sony Group companies in Japan in the electronics business continued a work-style reform project
    • - Continued to implement initiatives to create attractive workplaces worldwide. Encouraged employees to take on new challenges by providing spaces for open communication and idea generation.
  • ●Occupational Health and Safety
    • - Set Medium-Term Occupational Health and Safety Targets including acquiring external ISO45001 certification and reducing employees' health risks, etc., to enhance global governance.
    • - Continued to conduct audits and risk assessments related to OHS


  • 1966:
    Internal job posting program started
  • 1973:
    Sony Technology Exchange Fair started
  • 1978:
    Sony Taiyo Corporation founded
  • 1988:
    Flex-time system introduced
    Basic Policy and Management System established
  • 1990:
    Parenting leave and flex holiday programs introduced
  • 2000:
    Sony University program started
  • 2008:
    Flexible work (formerly called telework) policy introduced
  • 2011:
    Diversity Committee established
  • 2015:
    Flexible career leave and free agent programs introduced
  • 2017:
    Workstyle reform project started at Sony Group companies in the electronics business in Japan
  • 2018:
    PORT, a venue for developing new talent, established at the head office
  • *Items without group or company names refer initiatives of Sony Corporation

Looking to the Future

With a focus on diversity, talent development, and engagement, Sony will continue to offer working conditions that contribute to the health and safety of employees — all part of its efforts to generate sustainable social value and a high level of profit. Sony will provide opportunities for employees to improve and make the most of their character, skills and capabilities.

Activity Reports

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