Diversity and Inclusion

Basic Policy

Sumitomo Chemical has set forth the promotion of diversity and inclusion as one of its seven material issues based on the Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability. The Group is working to realize its own sustainable growth while helping realize a sustainable society through its business.
Sumitomo Chemical is working to provide all employees with motivating workplaces where they can fully demonstrate their skills and abilities in a variety of situations.

Group Diversity and Inclusion Policy

We will promote diversity and inclusion across the Sumitomo Chemical Group. We understand that a variety of ideas and values among our employees represents a vital resource that forms the foundation of the Sumitomo Chemical Group's competitiveness. In order to create continuous new value, we will build and enable an inclusive organizational culture that allows us to respect the individuality of each employee and embrace diversity to empower employees in an environment of mutual and close communication.

Management System

In 2010, Sumitomo Chemical established a labor-management committee to promote diversity and inclusion, work-life balance.
To this end, the committee shares information and exchanges opinions in addition to checking on the progress of efforts undertaken by labor and by management.

Labor-Management Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, Work-Life Balance

Targets and Results / Examples of Initiatives

Promoting the Active Advancement of Women

We have focused on promoting the active advancement of women as a part of our diversity and inclusion promotion efforts. We are actively taking measures to create an environment where even more women can thrive. Sumitomo Chemical has outlined the following targets in line with the Act on Promotion of Women’s Participation and Advancement in the Workplace and is implementing the specific initiatives detailed below.

Target 1 Women accounting for at least 10% of positions equivalent to manager or above

  • Continue to provide training for workplace managers to promote understanding and raise awareness about promoting the active advancement of women
  • Continue to send employees for outside training to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge

Target 2 At least 50% of male employees taking cessation from work for childcare

  • Put out press releases and otherwise raise awareness about programs that enable employees to flexibly respond to life events
  • Work to establish an environment that enables flexible workstyles and improves productivity by promoting a better worklife balance
  • Draft and implement measures to promote the use of these programs mainly through the Labor-Management Committee for Work-Life Balance

Achievements in Diversity and Inclusion (Sumitomo Chemical)

Number of female managers*1 In order to promote the success of female employees, Sumitomo Chemical sets quantitative targets regarding the ratio of female managers and systematically promotes female employees to management positions. 80 85 96★ 99
Percentage of female managers (%)*1  4.2 4.5 5.1★ 5.2

Employment rate for people with disabilities (%)*2

Sumika Partners Co., Ltd., a special subsidiary, began operations in April 2018, and we are working to expand employment opportunities for persons with disabilities who are motivated to work, including four of our group companies receiving approval as special affiliated companies as of June 2019. 2.10 2.06 2.24★ 2.41
Reemployment rate (%)*3 Sumitomo Chemical has established a retiree reemployment system that enables a variety of work styles while appropriately reflecting the motivation and abilities of each person. 92.1 92.1 92.6 TBD*4
  1. Number and percentage of employees holding positions equivalent to sectional manager or above; as of April 1 of each fiscal year
  2. As of June 1 of each fiscal year since the base date of calculation has been changed, the data has been retroactively revised in previous fiscal years
  3. As of March 31 of each fiscal year
  4. Calculation is slated at March 31, 2020

Promoting Work-Life Balance

We aim to raise productivity by ensuring each employee feels greater motivation and a deeper sense of fulfillment while maintaining a better work-life balance.

Formulation of the Action Plan to Reform Workstyles

In March 2018, Sumitomo Chemical formulated an action plan to reform workstyles with the aim of raising productivity. In this action plan, we established key performance indicators (KPIs) along with three main targets: (1) correcting long working hours, (2) encouraging employees to take paid annual leave, and (3) promoting flexible workstyles. We then set out the following measures to achieve these targets.

Action Plan to Reform Workstyles

KPI Measures
(1) Correct Long Working Hours

Reduce the annual percentage of people working long hours (at least 35 hours/month worked after regular hours and on weekends and holidays) to below 10% by fiscal 2020.
(Fiscal 2018 results: 15.8%)

A. Employ the Internet of Things (IoT) to reform workstyles and revolutionize operations
Digitize plant-related operational processes and data, make office operations more efficient by actively using cloud sourcing and the latest technologies (including AI and sensors), etc.

B. Improve productivity by promoting a better work-life balance
Regularly convene the Labor-Management Committee for Work-Life Balance with labor and management representatives, take various measures to improve productivity in each workplace, hold lectures to promote better work-life balance, etc.

(2) Encourage Employees to Take Paid Annual Leave

Realize an average of 70% of paid leave taken annually by 2020.
(Fiscal 2018 results: 71.8%)

A. Create an annual leave chart that covers several fiscal years
Every year create an annual leave chart that covers several fiscal years to make it easier to plan far into the future and help encourage employees to take paid leave

B. Encourage employees to take paid leave

  • Encourage employees to take paid leave during Golden Week and other similar periods
  • Encourage employees to create four-day weekends by adding days of paid leave to either side of weekends and promote taking time off in the September–November period
  • Encourage senior employees to take paid leave

C. Continue to systematically provide paid leave
Systematically provide around five paid-leave days every year (does not include statutory leave)

(3) Promote Flexible Workstyles

Realize 50% of male employees taking cessation from work for childcare by 2020.
(Fiscal 2018 results: 37.6%)

A. Issue PRs and raise awareness about programs
Continually issue PRs and raise awareness about various programs that enable employees to flexibly adjust for their individual needs, including those related to life events involving childcare and caregiving. In addition, encourage male employees with newborns to take cessation from work for childcare.

Regarding the below questions in the employee awareness survey, achieve the target figures by the time of the next survey.

B. Foster an environment that allows the realization of flexible workstyles
By taking the measures outlined above for correcting long working hours, create an environment where it is easy to improve the productivity of employees and their workplaces and to realize flexible workstyles.

  • Realize at least 60% affirmative responses to the question: “Is the general consensus in your workplace that both men and women can easily take paid or unpaid leave for childcare or caregiving and use the reduced working-hour system?”
  • Realize at least 75% affirmative responses to the question: “Are the programs and working environment at the Company conducive to easily working after giving birth, raising children, or caregiving?”

C. Encourage use of programs
Through the Labor-Management Committee for Work-Life Balance and other such meetings, identify the specific usage needs and improvement requests for the various programs. Use this information to help draft and implement measures to encourage wider use of programs.

Sumitomo Chemical is taking the following actions with regard to the target of correcting long working hours.

(1) From April 2017, we reduced the upper limit on overtime work to 80 hours per month and 720 hours per year.
(2) Regarding the occupational physician interviews for people working long hours mandated by the Industrial Safety and Health Act, we established and are enforcing our own guidelines, which are harsher than the law, requiring interviews for people who work 70 hours or more of overtime in one month or 150 hours or more in a three-month period
(3) From March 2018, we established an even more appropriate work management system by displaying computer logon and logoff times when reporting work hours in addition to the existing system for reporting work hours.

Systems and Measures for Better Work-Life Balance and for Use at Time of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Childcare

Results of Systems for Work-Life Balance (Sumitomo Chemical)

(No. of people)
Childcare/Nursing Support Cessation from work for childcare★ Total 248 304 336
Male 142 175 233
Female 106 129 103
Cessation from work for nursing care 3 3 1
Nursing care leave 134 153 180
Childbirth support leave 204 237 188
Maternal health leave 55 48 52
Expired accumulated paid leave*1 62 72 110
Reduced working hours system 118 134 162
Telecommuting*2 15 16 21
Reemployment system*3 12 8 10
In-house childcare facilities*4 161(108) 167(118) 171(123)
Mutual aid association support money for childcare*5 195 211 242
Other Suspension from work for special reasons for employees accompanying spouses going on overseas transfer*6  7 9 6
Employee survey*7 Conductedin August

Note: Employee numbers do not include temporary employees, part-time staff, or dispatch employees.

  1. Only for childcare and nursing care
  2. Number certified at the end of each fiscal year
  3. Number registered as of the end of each fiscal year
  4. Number of users on April 1 each fiscal year. Includes users other than Sumitomo Chemical. The figures in parentheses are the number of Sumitomo Chemical users.
  5. Aggregate number of people at end of each fiscal year
  6. Number of applicants as of the end of each fiscal year
  7. Conducted once every three years

Kurumin Mark

In September 2015, Sumitomo Chemical was certified for the third time as a company that supports childcare and received the next-generation Kurumin certification mark. Under this system, business operators who successfully carry out action plans based on the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children and meet all the certification criteria receive certification from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
This certification was in recognition of our third round of initiatives covering the period between June 2012 and March 2015. The first certification covered the period between April 2005 and May 2007, and the second one covered the period between June 2007 and May 2012. The Company was commended for its initiatives to help promote work-life balance, such as expanding in-house childcare facilities and encouraging employees to take various forms of leave. (We are currently applying for our fourth certification.)

  • Next-generation
    certification mark

Looking Ahead

To promote diversity and inclusion across the Group, going forward we will set relevant KPIs, check progress made under the Corporate Business Plan, and actively work to achieve the goals laid out.