Based on the concept that diversity and inclusion are a wellspring of innovation, Sony drew up a diversity statement in May 2013, and has since been engaged in activities that promote respect for diversity from the perspectives of gender, age, place of origin, sexual orientation, sense of values and work practices, irrespective of race, nationality, religion, beliefs and disabilities.
With regard to employing people with disabilities, the entire Sony Group has not only made infrastructural improvements in the workplace, but has also been promoting the creation of environments where people feel that work is worthwhile, and sharing know-how that will allow disabled employees to demonstrate their abilities to the full.
Springboard Consulting LLC is an international consulting company headquartered in the United States. It is involved in promoting employment among the disabled and providing them with job assistance. It sponsored the 2014 Disability Matters Asia-Pac Region Conference & Awards, where Sony/Taiyo Corporation and Sony Hikari Corporation won commendations.
These events are held in the United States, Europe and the Asia-Pac regions, and the awards comprise the Workforce Award (for hiring and retention), the Workplace Award (for workplace facilities and consideration for workers) and the Marketplace Award (for consumers with disabilities). The awards have been presented to companies and organizations with outstanding records in the relevant areas since 2007.
This particular event marked the second time the award ceremonies have been held in Asia, and prizes went to just two companies representing Japan, both members of the Sony Group.
The awards ceremony held in Tokyo on July 1 was attended by over 100 participants, including members of top management from all over the region. During the ceremony, trophies were presented to Kenichi Gendo, President of Sony/Taiyo Corporation, and Masahide Nishimichi, former President of Sony Hikari Corporation and current Diversity Advisor of Sony Corporation.
In addition to the awards ceremony, presentations of the points that won high marks were given during panel discussions involving the winning companies. Mr. Yushin Sato, Assistant Manager, Disabled People Employment Promotion Section, Sony/Taiyo Corporation explained the idea adopted by Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka for employing people who can demonstrate that they can overcome their difficulties and demonstrate their superiority over able-bodied people without special privileges. He described examples of how the company has been taking initiatives based on this idea to help employees with disabilities become more autonomous through consideration and support over a period of 36 years.
Ms. Takako Hagiwara, President, Sony Hikari Corporation explained how Sony Corporation and the relevant departments of group companies make a commitment to employ disabled persons as a matter of company policy, and described their efforts to meet the challenge of developing careers for people with mental disabilities.