Diversity Week 2020 was held in September at Sony business facilities globally to promote diversity and inclusion, and create new value through dialogue. During the week, a number of online events were held globally to include, seminars addressing social issues related to gender and age, LGBTQ inclusion, disabilities, support for work-life balance, diverse values, empathy, and other inclusion initiatives.
Kenichiro Yoshida,Chairman, President and CEO of Sony Corporation, provided a message to employees in recognition and celebration of our events:
Here is Mr. Yoshida's message before Diversity Week 2020 was held.
The approximately 110,000 Sony Group employees around the world, with their diverse background, and the breadth of our businesses play an active role in driving Sony's business forward. This "diversity of people" is the foundation and driving force that creates Sony's value to society.
One of Sony's core principles is that all people are treated with dignity and respect, irrespective of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or physical capabilities. Sony is fully committed to the human rights of all people, and, has therefore defined diversity as one of our company's Values. In 2020, people around the world, including myself, are reflecting more deeply about the importance of diversity through the continued massive social justice movement in the U.S., demanding equal rights and treatment for Black lives. More than ever before, I hope this year's Diversity Week will provide a chance for each and every one of us to continue to learn and reflect on the value of diversity and to provide opportunities to take concrete actions to create a better Sony.
In Japan, Sony Group companies held a variety of events and workshops utilizing the theme "Connecting through Empathy and Building Strength in Diversity." For the opening event, Ms. Lin Kobayashi, Founder and Chair of the Board of UWC (United World College) ISAK Japan spoke to Sony employees about her own experiences communicating her dreams to the people around her, connecting with others through empathy, and building on small successes. She established a boarding school with students from 84 countries in Karuizawa, Nagano Pref., a resort town about one hour from Tokyo by bullet train. Other events included an LGBTQ-themed lecture, a talk session on "Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace" by Mr. Piotr Feliks Grzywacz, Chief Executive Officer, Pronoia Group, an online screening of "For Life" with a talk session on diversity and human rights in the U.S. today by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and a lecture on how to use the power of empathy in practice; creating opportunities to deepen understanding of diversity and inclusion as a core value for Sony. Approximately 3,400 employees in Japan participated in the online events throughout Diversity Week. These events provided opportunities to engage in dialogue in the workplace to learn about diverse values and the importance of embracing them in an online environment at a time when face-to-face contacts have become less frequent.
Sony offices in the US offered employees the opportunity to participate in a series of events and activities hosted by Sony's U.S. affiliates, including Sony Music Group (SMG), Sony Music Publishing (SMP), SPE, Sony Electronics Inc. (SEL) , Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and Sony Corporation of America (SCA). Diversity Month events were focused on social justice, racial equity awareness, diversity, inclusion, and allyship. Events/activities included virtual conversations with Sony executives; town hall events with Sony's employee networks; as well as a webinar on how to lead in today's multigenerational workplace; They also hosted the film screening of "Being Eñye" and discussion on how Latino and mainstream culture collide in ways that feel invisible to us, as well as a "One Sony" Disability Inclusion event on disability etiquette, regulatory drivers and the great work Sony is doing in product accessibility.
Other Highlights included online Workshops by Sony Artisans of Imagery that highlighted and educated on diversity in digital imaging - the challenges and opportunities. It also included an overview of Sony's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the industry and within our organization, and provided an opportunity to learn from Sony Artisans about creating impactful photos and visual storytelling that spread awareness about diverse communities.
SCA hosted a special virtual employee career panel comprised of members of Sony OutLoud—the Company's Employee Business Resource Group for LGBTQ+ employees and allies—for youth from the Ali Forney Center, a non-profit whose mission it is to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.
September 28 was the start of National Inclusion week, which was marked with a program of daily workshops, trainings and virtual events. The sessions during the week covered a range of inclusion topics, including allyship in the workplace, supplier diversity and why diversity in the entertainment industry is important. A mix of internal and external speakers led these discussions with more than 330 employees across EMEA participating in the sessions.
Sony Latin America (SOLA) began its Diversity Week celebration with an on-line kick-off call. Diversity and Inclusion programs available through the internal educational scheme were introduced to include topics such as cross-cultural and cross-generational considerations, emotional intelligence, leading and leveraging diversity, and many more. Also, SOLA held an online event entitled "Virtual Flavors of the World", where SOLA employees shared cultural content such as special holidays celebrated in their home countries, food recipes, pictures of home cooked dishes, etc. To close Diversity Week, SOLA employees had an online Social Hour where they enjoyed a drink while facetiming and chatting about diversity and more.
In-house online event
From October to November, about 700 Sony China employees participated in online events . that included video interviews on women's leadership, and workshops on unconscious bias, and generational issues. An online forum was held on International Men's Day on November 9th, and the content covered a wide range of diversity and inclusion.