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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

View Sumitomo Corporation's Sustainability : Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Promotion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I)

The Sumitomo Corporation Group recognizes Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as "the core enabler for value creation, innovation and competitiveness" in its Global HR Management Policy.
The business environment surrounding the Group has been rapidly changing and the regions and business fields where we operate, as well as business models have also been rapidly diversified. For us to address such changes and continue to develop in a sustainable way, it is essential to make DE&I one of the core aspects of our management strategy.
To survive these revolutionary times, it is essential to effectively use a mixture of diverse wisdom from diverse individuals to improve our competitiveness, in other words, we need to combine our forces to further accelerate our growth strategies with a focus on the diversity of our global talent, especially on the individual’s strengths.
In addition to reviewing systems and mechanisms that impede the inclusion of attributes such as nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity (elimination of physical barriers), we will also promote a culture and awareness that leverages diversity at a deeper level, including different opinions, ideas and perspectives, values, abilities, skills, and experiences.
The elimination of all barriers, including psychological barriers and unconscious biases, requires an understanding of the barriers each employee faces and concrete actions to remove them. To encourage this behavioral shift, we have explicitly added the concept of "Equity" to our Global HR Management Policy in 2022, and have listed it as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
In promoting the growth strategy of the Group, it is necessary to promote the right talent to the right assignments on a global basis, to strategically appoint and develop talent, develop organization, and nurture a culture and awareness within the Group to support these points. Under the vision set forth in the Global HR Management Policy, we will collaborate with overseas organizations to pursue DE&I in the Group on a global consolidated basis.

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Promoting Active Participation of Female Employees in Business

Our Approach towards Promoting Active Participation of Female Employees in Business

Sumitomo Corporation sees the active participation of female employees in businesses as an important pillar of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion especially in Japan, and we have formulated action plans with the aim of advancing this further, and set the following goals to be achieved by 2030.

  1. Female Manager ratio: At least 20% or more
  2. Female Department General Manager ratio: At least 10% or more
  3. Female Director and Audit & Supervisory Board Member ratio: At least 30% or more

To achieve these goals, we are reinforcing talent development and allocation/appointment centered on the new HR system introduced in FY2021 and are working to create an environment where each individual can demonstrate their full potential, as well as actively appointing experienced personnel to positions such as executive officer positions, and female and younger employees to executive management and general managerial positions.

In addition, in order to support our employees to balance life events and career development, we have reinforced tangible aspects including the establishment of internal policies that go beyond regulatory requirements and have addressed the intangible elements such as correcting long working hours, encouraging employees to take paid leave, and reforming employee awareness with the aim of creating an environment that facilitates active participation in the company after childbirth and childcare.

Action Plan (Japanese only)

Number of female managers*

  • The number of female managers is included within the number of female career-track employees on the right
  • Figures are as of April 1 of the next fiscal year

Number of female career-track employees

  • The reporting coverage was expanded in fiscal 2022 as a result of the abolition of the previous position-based reporting
  • Figures are as of April 1 of the next fiscal year

Female Department General Manager Ratio

Female Director and Audit & Supervisory Board Member Ratio

Female employees who are working globally

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Diversity Weeks

For three weeks from March 6 to 26, 2023, we held the company-wide DE&I event, Diversity Weeks 2023 continuing from last year. Diversity Weeks is a set period during which we focus on the conduction of DE&I programs. The aim is to remind all our officers and employees that DE&I is the source of competitiveness, and help trigger specific changes in their behavior to further drive DE&I. In FY2022, we also delivered messages from General Managers for Overseas Regions as part of our global collaboration. We will continue holding Diversity Weeks on an annual basis in order to further cultivate DE&I awareness.

DFF Inc.

Raising Awareness of LGBTQ+*

The Sumitomo Corporation Group Compliance Policy (established March 2019) and the Employment Rules codify that no fear or discomfort shall be caused through sexualized speech or conduct, harassment, slander or defamation, intimidation, violent behavior, or the like on the basis on sexual orientation or gender identity.
We aim to create a work environment where each employee provides support for LGBTQ+ community with correct understanding, and where LGBTQ+ employee can maximize their performance. To this end, we conduct various awareness-raising activities such as mandatory training for all employees, mandatory training for team managers, providing information regularly, and distribution of tools to express being a LGBTQ+ ally. In addition, we are also working to improve our systems and environment by establishing LGBTQ+ guidelines, setting up a consultation service, and establishing rules of employment that certain HR-related systems can be applied to employees who have a same-sex partner.

  • LGBTQ+: L=Lesbian, G=Gay, B= Bisexual, T=Transgender, Q=Questioning, Queer
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Work-Life Balance

Support for Balancing Work and Child-rearing

Sumitomo Corporation offers various options that are available employees regardless of gender with the aim of creating a work environment where diversified employees who have entered the life stage of child-rearing can exert their maximum performance. When an employee files a notice of pregnancy or childbirth for themselves or their spouse, we provide information on the systems for childcare leave and confirm if they want to use those systems through a survey. If they want to use the system, we assist them (men and women) with HR's support as needed, etc., through the process of using childcare leave.

  • Support Handbook for Balancing Work and Child-rearing
  • Childcare Consulting Services
  • Partnering with Childcare Facilities
  • Support for Employees Stationed Overseas with Children
  • Roundtable Discussion on Maternity Leave for Male Employees

Use of childcare-related systems by employees

Spouse's maternity leave

Child-care leave

Leave to look after a sick child

Those who have reduced working hours

Reemployment of workers who quit due to the transfer of their spouse

We have a system to reemploy, under certain conditions, workers who had to quit their jobs with the company due to the transfer of their spouse, with a view to providing them with an opportunity to once again put their abilities to work for the company.

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Number of applicants for reemployment under the system for those who had to quit due to the transfer of their spouse 7 9 4 9 11 4 14 11

Develop a Work Environment

Provididing a “Great Place to Work” where diverse employees maximize their performance with passion and a sense of security.

As per our Global HR Management Policy, we aim to build a “Great Place to Work” where diverse individuals continuously and passionately create new value. In this context, we offer a range of work style options so that each individual, with their diverse values and lifestyles, can maximize their performance both at work and in private to enrich their overall quality of life. By cultivating an environment that enables employees to work autonomously and flexibly, we promote an output-oriented approach to work to generate high added value.

Reducing long working hours

Sumitomo Corporation has been fostering the separation of professional and private life, aiming to increase the work efficiency of employees. In this age of diversification and sophistication of businesses, it is not appropriate to manage working hours simply to reduce the hours regardless of the specific business conditions, although longer working hours do not always lead to better business performance. In recognition of this fact, we need to pursue more value-added work styles also from the viewpoint of global competition.

Average Monthly Overtime Hours (Non-Consolidated Basis)

Average Monthly Overtime Hours (Non-Consolidated Basis)

Awareness-raising seminars

The following is an example of our efforts to raise employees’ awareness and to provide them with useful information.

  • Labor Management Seminars
    We provide training on labor management as a part of the newly appointed manager training and newly appointed team leader training programs. We undertake ongoing educational activities, including holding seminars on labor management and productivity improvement, to raise awareness regarding labor management.

Encouraging employees to take more holidays

Sumitomo Corporation fosters the separation of professional and private life to encourage employees to increase their productivity to achieve greater results within a limited time.

Number of paid holidays taken by employees

Number of paid holidays taken by employees

We promote a smart work style with the aim of improving productivity to achieve maximum results in a limited time. Efforts to achieve this goal include the setting of a company-wide target for the number of paid leaves to be taken in a single year through 2016 to 2019. The number of days of paid leave taken has steadily increased, and the targets were achieved. Starting in 2020, rather than setting a company-wide target that applies uniformly to all employees, we adopted a policy of allowing each organization and individual to exercise autonomous management.

Fostering flexible work styles

The teleworking and super-flextime systems are designed to provide employees with an environment that enables them to work autonomously and flexibly beyond the conventional framework and thereby promote high-value-added, output-oriented work styles. By working autonomously and flexibly, employees will proactively make more effective use of time to foster their own mental and physical health and increase their own value, which will lead to the maximization of their performance.

Dress Code Modification

As a part of our efforts to develop flexible work environments that promote the autonomy of employees, we focused on the “location” and the “time” of work and introduced the teleworking system and the Super flexible work hours system in 2018. To build on these systems, in April 2020, we modified the dress code to further promote mindset shifts in the individual and the organization as well as autonomous work styles. After reviewing current rules on attire, we eliminated dress codes as long as it is within the scope of common sense and appropriate for work and the workplace based on TPO.

Teleworking system

In 2018, we adopted a teleworking system and expanded flexibility around work location, with workers able to work at home or any of the hundreds of contracted satellite offices up to a certain number of days. In principle, there are no restrictions to the use., and employees with different circumstances, such as providing childcare and long-term care are provided an opportunity to work proactively and flexibly. Since 2021, we have been encouraging the best-mix of work style that allows employees to autonomously combine in-office and remote work in a well-balanced manner to maximize the performance of the organization. As a result, the average in-office attendance rate in FY2022 was approximately 60%.

In recognition of these efforts to promote teleworking, we received the Excellence Award of the FY2020 Telework Promotion Award (Kagayaku Telework Award) presented by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. Please refer to the following link for more information.

Sumitomo Corporation won the Excellence Award of the FY2020 Telework Promotion Company Award (Kagayaku Telework Award) presented by the MHLW (Japanese only)

Super Flexible Work Hours System

In 2018, we abolished the flexible “work hours system”, under which employees were required to be present during the fixed core hours from 11:00 to 15:00, and newly adopted the “super flexible work hours system.” The new system has no core hours. Employees can start and end their work at any time during the flexible time band from 5:00-22:00. This system allows employees to design and manage their own work style, leading to further improvement of both the organization’s and the individual’s performance.

Workplaces with no harassment

Sumitomo Corporation regards all issues related to harassment, including sexual harassment, power abuse, and discrimination against pregnant women and minorities including LGBTQ+ people, as a serious infringement of human rights and deals with these issues sincerely and strictly.

Specifically, we have implemented the following measures:

  1. Clearly stated in the working rules that any forms of harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.
  2. Clearly prohibited any forms of harassment in the compliance manual.
  3. Made all directors and employees aware of the fact that the company will deal with harassment-related issues strictly by launching a website and providing level-specific training on the issues. Since 2014, the company has also been holding training sessions to help all managers deepen their understanding of sexual harassment and power abuse.
  4. In order to prevent any harassment and solve a harassment issue if it unfortunately happens, established a contact for employees to make complaints about harassment within the departments supervised by the Chief Administration Officer and Chief Compliance Officer.
  5. Using the Speak-up System, also established a system for detectors of harassment to directly inform the Chief Compliance Officer (COO) of the fact.

Support for Balancing Work and Long-term Care

Sumitomo Corporation offers various programs to help its caregiving employees to continue work with a sense of security. Through activities such as seminars on basic long-term care knowledge mandatory for managers and individual consultation sessions (once a month) on caregiving, introduction of subsidies for purchase of long-term care services and supplies and long-term care diagnostic tools, and creation of “Handbook for Managing Work-Caregiving Balance,” we are working to create a work environment where employees who have entered the life stage of caregiving can maximize their performance.

Support for Balancing Work and Long-term Care

Organization of various seminars

  • Seminars on long-term care
    Regularly holds seminars for managers to improve their ability to support keeping balance between work and long-term care, as well as seminars on support systems and basic knowledge for long-term care.
  • Long-term care diagnostic tools
    An online diagnostic tool for long-term care risk, aimed at providing opportunities for awareness and increasing knowledge. E-learning tailored to each individual is provided according to the results of the diagnosis.
DFF Inc.

Support for Senior Employees’ Activities

We are developing working environments where every employee can work with intrinsic motivation regardless of their age.
In both our current HR management system and post-retirement re-employment system revised in FY2022, we follow the basic concepts of “pay for job, pay for performance.” We have eliminated the seniority-based promotion and ensured that we promote the right talent to the right assignments according to the strengths and expertise of the individual employee.
On the other hand, for senior employees who have a wide range of experience and extensive knowledge, we have other support measures to help developing a strengths-based career path. This includes encouraging autonomous career development and offering opportunities for recurrent training throughout their careers.

  • CLP (Career & Life Planning) Training
  • Career Assessment Interviews
  • Support to Find a New Job Outside the Company

Career Development Programs and Career Design Seminars

Sumitomo Corporation gives career development programs and holds career design seminars for employees aged 45 and older. Through these programs and seminars, employees look back on their career and are provided with an opportunity to obtain information useful to making plans for their future career and life and making new findings in a manner that will enable them to further develop themselves and demonstrate more of their abilities.

Since FY2022, in addition to older employees, we also provide employees in their early 30s and 40s with age-specific career training, encouraging them to make an early start to autonomously design their career for the future.

Career Assessment Interviews

Every year, employees aged 45 and older are provided with an opportunity to talk with their direct superiors and consult with them about their post-retirement career and life plans. Through this system we support them in choosing flexible post-retirement work styles according to their individual needs.

Moreover, in the interview, employees aged 58 and 59 are briefed on the assumptions about their post-retirement assignment and treatment. The interview thus provides the employees and the company with an opportunity to make adjustments about their mutual expectations.

Giving support to employees searching for next career paths

Sumitomo Corporation has an organization devoted to helping employees aged 50 and older search for their next career paths within the Human Resources Dept. This organization offers career counseling service to the subject employees, including providing them with a matching service for transfers inside the Company, supporting them in changing their career paths outside the Company, and giving useful information as they plan for their next careers.

We have appointed a re-employment support agency to help employees who like to change their career paths outside the Company, including finding a new job and starting a business. The agency’s professional counselors work closely with these employees to support their next careers by providing various services tailored to their specific needs.

DFF Inc.

Promotion of the Employment and Retention of People with Disabilities

Promotion of the Employment and
Retention of People with Disabilities

As part of its efforts in corporate social responsibility and toward diversity, Sumitomo Corporation Group has been promoting the employment of people with disabilities. In 2014, we established Sumisho Well Support Co., Ltd., a special subsidiary company, and we have worked with them since then to employ people with disabilities and provide them with opportunities to participate.
As of June 2023, a total of around 100 employees with disabilities are working for the two companies.
Employees of Sumisho Well Support are engaged in various tasks, such as outsourced general office tasks, scanning documents for digitization, printing and binding of business profiles, and business-related data input. They are extremely important for the business activities of our company. Going forward, Sumitomo Corporation Group will continue to rely on the uniqueness of each of our employees with disabilities to help in our creation of added value.

DFF Inc.