News Releases

Sumitomo Chemical Promotes Women' Empowerment in the Workplace

Oct. 31, 2017

As part of its efforts to advance and empower women in the workplace, Sumitomo Chemical has undertaken a self-assessment of its gender equality performance, using the Gap Analysis Tool (GAT)*1 that was developed by the United Nations Global Compact*2 for self-evaluations and gap analyses of companies' gender equality (The Company's self-assessment result being "Achiever")*3.

Sumitomo Chemical has a certain target in place as indicating the Company's advancement in women's empowerment in the workplace, i.e. "Women accounting for at least 10% of all positions equivalent to manager or higher" (the ratio being 4.5% as of April 2017). To achieve the target, Sumitomo Chemical has been working on a variety of initiatives, such as enhancing childcare leave and other related systems or conducting the Mentor System and the Women's Leadership Development Academy both of which are intended to help female managers develop a required career-oriented mindset and commitment and acquire essential leadership skills. In addition, ahead of many of other companies in Japan, Sumitomo Chemical has been setting up in-house childcare facilities since 2008. Currently, such facilities are provided in most of the Company's business offices, including manufacturing plants and research institutes.

On top of these efforts, Sumitomo Chemical in 2013 signed the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs)*4, an initiative developed jointly by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, and the company has constantly participated in the WEPs Annual Events since 2015. On a domestic front, Sumitomo Chemical is playing an active role in leading the WEPs working committee within Global Compact Network Japan. The Company has thus taken part in the global initiatives toward having the WEPs adapted more widely in society around the world. As far as the GAT is concerned, Sumitomo Chemical has cooperated as a pilot user in Japan to improve the tool so that as many companies as possible in Japan can benefit from the use of the GAT.

Sumitomo Chemical, referring also to the results of the GAT assessment, will continue promoting actively initiatives for further advancement of women's empowerment in the workplace.

  1. A diagnostic tool developed by the UN Global Compact, UN Women, and other institutions to enable companies to assess their gender equality performance. By answering a series of questions, companies can identify gaps between WEPs and their actual status. In Japan, two companies, including Sumitomo Chemical, participated in the project as a trial user.
  2. Established in 2000 to support the United Nations' policy. Now with about 13,000 corporate signatories in 160 countries, it is the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. It serves as a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labors, environment and anti-corruption.
  3. The assessment profiles companies into one of the following four categories: Leader, Achiever, Improver, or Beginner.
  4. The WEPs are a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

The Principles

Principle 1: Leadership Promotes Gender Equality
Principle 2: Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Nondiscrimination
Principle 3: Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence
Principle 4: Education and Training
Principle 5: Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and Marketing Practices
Principle 6: Community Leadership and Engagement
Principle 7: Transparency, Measuring and Reporting


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