Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Drawing on Global Talent
- Employing and Supporting Persons with Disabilities
- Workforce Composition and Service Period
Why We Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Epson believes that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are essential elements to achieve our purpose.
Our aim in promoting DE&I is to create a fair and bias-free environment in which individuals of all backgrounds gather from all over the world, respect each other, enjoy work, conduct themselves as responsible members of society, and continue driving innovation by taking on challenges and growing along with the company.
Epson's customers are the people around the world who use our products and services. To fulfill our goal of enriching the lives of as many people as possible, we must understand these diverse customers and deliver new value that surprises and delights them, and to do that, we must be diverse ourselves. An environment where differences are acknowledged, accepted, and respected is essential. Without it, we could not take advantage of that diversity. To sustain corporate growth, we will develop a corporate culture in which all employees can enjoy working and can participate in discussions as equals, regardless of background. Such a workplace is indispensable for a company seeking to address and solve societal issues. In other words, the foundations for creating a free and open workplace are mutual respect and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Epson is promoting initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion under the leadership of our management team.
Diversity is one of our most important management issues. I will work with the management team to develop a corporate culture in which all people can make the most of their abilities by eliminating any gender gaps and other forms of inequity, creating systems for incorporating diverse opinions, and providing various work arrangement options. Through these activities, I aim for us to be a company where neither majorities nor minorities exist in the minds of our employees, and I will transform the company into a place where employees embrace different values, ways of thinking, and unique new ideas.
President and CEO
Promotion of DE&I
Seiko Epson has long been an equal opportunity employer. In 1983, we eliminated the gender pay gap and have sought to enable employees to enjoy a good work-life balance by providing leaves of absence, shorter workdays for women with young children, and financial assistance to help defray babysitter expenses among other initiatives. As a result of those efforts, the ratio of female managers and the ratio of female employees in the leader class has improved. However, there is still a gender gap when it comes to promotion to leadership positions in Japan. Seiko Epson recognizes this as an issue and is continuing to make improvements. We are moving forward on additional actions to ensure that all employees, regardless of their gender or any other attribute, have an opportunity to shine.
Our goal is for each of our employees, regardless of their attributes such as whether they are male or female, demonstrate their abilities to the fullest and for the ratio of female middle managers and executive managers to be equal to the ratio of female employees.
DE&I Promotion Organization
In 2016, Seiko Epson created a Female Empowerment Project team in the Human Resources Department to create a climate of support for employees who want to advance their careers, regardless of gender, beyond women simply continuing to work. The project team was dissolved in October 2020, and a Diversity and Inclusion Project that reports directly to the president was launched to promote diversity reforms in general in addition to female empowerment. We established the DE&I Strategic Promotion Department in the Human Capital and Well-being Management Division in April 2023. This department has taken on the functions of the Diversity and Inclusion Project to further expand the scope of activities.
Initiatives to Close the Gender Gap
Revised plan for promoting women's participation and advancement in the workplace (three-year plan from FY2023 to FY2025)
- We are aiming to have female employees account for 8% of management positions and 10% of leadership roles (equivalent to assistant manager) by March 2026.
- We will recruit new graduates, with a goal of securing a hiring class composed of at least 25% women.
- We are aiming for employees to take 20 days of paid leave a year (including accumulated annual leave).
- We are aiming for 100% of both men and women to take childcare leave.
In addition, we will take measures so that women can form careers in the long-term as before. For example, we will continue to hold dialogue sessions, provide manager training, and provide career training for women. We will also continue to further consider flexible workstyles such as with the expansion of the work-from-home system we introduced in the previous fiscal year and the introduction of flex time without core hours.
Link to Action Plan Based on the Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace and the Act on Advancement of Measures to Support Raising Next-Generation Children (PDF, 83KB)
Overview of Initiatives
|Direction of Actions
Ⅰ. Unconscious bias
(employees, managers, organizations)
- Changing mind-set
Separate education programs for all employees, women, and managers
- Senior executive messages
- Diversity management training (mandatory for managers)
- Diversity and inclusion training
- Career advancement support measures for women (autonomous career training and promotion test preparation training, etc.)
- DE&I Fair
- Internal and external dissemination of information on our special DE&I website
Ⅱ. Diversification of work arrangements (organizations & managers)
- Dealing with time constraints
- Offering flexible work location options and work hours
- Enhanced support for care-work balance
- Encouraging men to take paternity leave
- Changing how managers work
- Changing attitudes toward work
- Performance evaluation system that does not put time-constrained employees at a disadvantage
- Expansion of the work-from-home system, start of a flex time system without core hours and annual leave on an hourly basis
- e-learning to support balancing work with other commitments
- Parents classes
- Babysitter subsidy
- Seminar for working caregivers
Ⅲ. Lack of growth opportunities
(Managers: no career model)
(Employees: no role model)
- Performance evaluation system
- Providing growth opportunities under the leadership of chief operating officers
- Promotion examination system changes
- Selection and training of management candidates
- Advisory service for women
- Infertility treatment
- Help for employees with children on waiting lists
<Unconscious bias: changing the way managers and general employees think>
Senior executive messages
Epson's senior executives stress the importance of diversity at bi-annual Group policy meetings. They arrange discussions to speak with women employees, and the president communicates company policies and his thoughts about diversity and the advancement of women through messages posted on the company intranet.
Diversity and inclusion training
To drive home the importance of diversity and to build awareness of the critical role that unconscious bias plays in hindering diversity, we had all employees of Seiko Epson and its domestic affiliates take on an online course in unconscious bias in 2020 and an online course in the fundamentals of diversity and inclusion in 2021.
(The online course in unconscious bias: 18,680 participants / participation rate 95%. The online course in the fundamentals of diversity an inclusion: 17,790 participants / participation rate 91%, as of the end of July 2022)
Our group companies also began providing basic DE&I training.
Diversity management training
We began diversity training for all managers in the Epson Group. The aim is to change the prevailing mind-set, teach the importance of diversity and inclusion, and ensure psychological safety. (A total of 1,198 employees across our group in Japan participated in the diversity management training programs with 95% completing the course.) This content will also be built into the training curriculum for new managers.
Support to advance the careers of women
We support female employees to think about how to build their careers and to acquire business skills through multiple autonomous career training sessions. We also provide assistance with advance preparations for tests and interviews in line with our internal promotion system.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fair
We hold keynote speeches by top management, talks by prominent figures invited from outside our company to speak and round-table discussions so that the importance of DE&I is instilled in many employees. We also hold various events such as to share information on childrearing and to promote understanding of LGBTQs.
Dissemination of information through our special DE&I webpage
We have published a special webpage to further instill in employees our DE&I message from top management and the reasons why DE&I is important to companies and to disseminate information on our corporate initiatives to those outside our company. We have posted dialogues between the president and DE&I experts and information on the above fair
<Diversification of work arrangements>
Performance evaluation system that does not put time-constrained employees at a disadvantage
The criteria for evaluating employees who work a full day and employees who work shorter hours are identical. This was done to ensure a level playing field when it comes to advancement and promotions, even for individuals whose working hours are limited for personal reasons. Employees are evaluated based on their achievements with respect to goals that are considered achievable within their respective workdays.
Remote work system for child-rearing and nursing/caregiving employees
Seiko Epson introduced a system in FY2018 that gives time-constrained employees the opportunity to work from home so that they can provide care to dependents, including children and other sick or ill family members. In 2020, the work from home option was expanded to encompass all employees. Those with child-rearing and nursing/caregiving responsibilities can work from home flexibly on an hourly, half-day, or per-day basis. For example, parents can leave work during regular working hours as needed to participate in school events. Or, when their child gets sick, they can work a certain minimum number of hours while their children are sleeping. Whereas parents previously may have had to take paid leave for these situations, they now can work more flexibly around them. Employees can also work remotely from approved locations outside the home, providing even greater flexibility.
Fathers' involvement in childcare
For working mothers to fully participate and advance in the workplace, their partners must share the burden for housework and childcare. There has been an increase in recent years in the number of men who want to be more actively involved in raising and caring for their children. Seiko Epson thus created a paternity leave guidebook in 2014 and posted it on the company intranet. We also encourage fathers to be more involved in childcare by sharing stories from men who have taken paternity leave. Moreover, the subject of paternal engagement is taken up at length in mandatory diversity management training for managers.
Our goal in FY2022 was for 100% of eligible fathers to take paternity leave. We almost achieved that target with 97.2% doing so. We will further continue activities because the number of days eligible fathers take in leave is still low.
From October 2005, we have offered subsidies for babysitting services. We have gradually increased the subsidy, and currently we pay the full amount for up to 16 hours.
Seminar to retain employee caregivers
To help employees understand public and private caregiving options and to prepare them for risks associated with the emergence of sudden caregiving responsibilities, we invite experts to give seminars for working caregivers so that they can stay in the workforce.
In addition, we have introduced group long-term care insurance as part of the benefits package to help cover caregiving costs. We also hold seminars on caregiving costs to ease the minds of employees facing a caregiving situation.
Exploration of work arrangements
We have expanded the purposes for which employees may take wellbeing leave. Now parents can take time off to care for their children when schools temporarily close or to help their children get gradually accustomed to daycare.
Furthermore, a labor-management subcommittee on work arrangements is exploring changes that will give time-constrained employees who have childcare or nursing/caregiving responsibilities more work flexibility.
<Lack of growth opportunities>
Promotion examination system
To be eligible for promotion exams, employees formerly had to write a dissertation and pass a written exam in the same year. Since a considerable amount of time was needed to write the dissertation and prepare for the written exam, employees who had limited free time faced additional challenges. Another stumbling block was that employees who qualified to take the exam had to do so (and pass) within a three-year period, after which eligibility expired, so those taking maternity leave could end up losing eligibility.
To remove these obstacles and make it easier for time-constrained employees to gain promotion, we changed the system, in April 2018. We eliminated the expiration period and made it so that employees could maintain eligibility even if they pass only certain test subjects over a multi-year period. In October 2020, we made it even easier for time-constrained employees to try to earn promotion and ascend the grade scale by recognizing the writing of a dissertation as an opportunity for professional development and allowing them to write their dissertation and take the written exam during work hours.
Advisory service for women
We have installed a career counseling service for women employees who are having trouble envisioning their career path or who are otherwise undecided about their future career. This service puts them into contact with a female mentor who can help them think positively about their career at Epson. We also have a health consultation service for women who wish to speak with an occupational physician or qualified obstetric nurse.
We have made it possible for employees to take wellbeing leave for fertility treatment. In addition, we newly established a system to support employees undergoing infertility treatment from September 2023.
Help for employees with children on waiting lists
A growing number of children in recent years have been put on waiting lists for childcare services not only in the Tokyo area but also in Nagano Prefecture, where our main offices are located. Therefore, we are promoting a partnership with company-led nursery schools in the areas where employees live. (There were seven schools as of July 2023.)
Promotion of hiring & retention - interviews with third-year employees
The Human Resources Department interviews young employees who joined the company right out of school and are in their third year with the company to help them quickly improve their effectiveness and to encourage retention. By listening to their concerns about work, the work environment, and their career design, and by following up with them and their workplace, we have seen an increase in retention rate.
Networking - dialog between executive management and female employees
Seiko Epson will continue to hold meetings between members of the executive management team and female employees. These meetings are designed to create a mutual support environment and help women network with female managers, manager candidates, and other employees who share similar concerns at around age 30. In the 2021 fiscal year, discussions were held between female employees (31 in total) and the president on six occasions, while women also met to discuss issues with an outside director. Members of executive management who participate in these meetings learn first-hand about the needs of women in the workplace, such as the ability to work from home during the childrearing years and availability of a temporary day care space in emergencies. These talks lead to the development of actual trials and the creation of new programs.
The network of female employees is expanding through programs such as dialog sessions among women at the same site or in the same or different business. Now, women who met through dialog sessions are sharing their concerns with one another and communicating about career design and work-life balance support.
Certification by external parties
Future Initiatives to Close the Gender Gap
Seiko Epson will roll out further actions to expand the career advancement possibilities for women and increase diversity.
Progress in Closing the Gender Gap (as of March 2023)
Percentage of women in workplace and in management
|Percentage of regular employees
|Percentage of managers
*Manager is section manager and department manager.
Drawing on Global Talent
Epson has sites around the world to accurately identify and swiftly and flexibly meet the changing needs of customers at different times and in different regions. The Epson Group currently employs about 80,000 people.
In order to deliver valuable products to customers, the entire global value chain must operate effectively and efficiently, requiring global human resources who have extensive knowledge and experience in each function and are capable of negotiating and reaching mutually acceptable compromise. In various regions of the world, we hold seminars every year to foster management leaders at overseas subsidiaries and promote personnel exchanges across regions in order to develop leaders who share common values and are capable of making accurate and prompt decisions in the field. As in Japan, we also work with local top management and human resource departments to define roles and requirements for overseas human resources, and formulate succession and training plans for key positions and key human resources. Based on these activities, we continue to hold internal discussions on optimal functional allocation, and are working to build an optimal formation from a global perspective.
Global Talent Management
Epson actively recruits and utilizes overseas human resources. Using the same role evaluation tool as is used in Japan, we measure the size and weight of responsibilities that accompany each position in Epson Group companies overseas. Key positions are identified and their roles and requirements are specified. Then, through 360-degree evaluations and other means, we collect information about all potential candidates and their capabilities so that we can select the most appropriate people for each position, regardless of age, gender, nationality, and so forth. This information is used to conduct the same type of human resources reviews as are performed in Japan, ascertain personnel needs, and review succession plans.
As a result of these actions, Epson now has home-grown talent in leadership positions at its overseas affiliates. The CEO of Epson's regional head office in the US is an American who owns responsibility for all administrative and business operations at Epson companies in North, Central, and South America. The regional head office in Southeast Asia is also headed by a local who is responsible for sales operations in the region. In Europe, all local affiliates controlled by the regional head office are headed by locals, and a number of Epson sales and manufacturing affiliates around the globe have also recruited or promoted locals to run their operations. Currently, 37% of directors at overseas affiliates are non-Japanese, while 60% of those affiliates' CEOs are non-Japanese.
Initiatives to Develop Global Human Resources
Global Incubation Seminar (GIS)
The Global Incubation Seminar (GIS) is a training program for next-generation leaders at our local subsidiaries in countries and regions around the world. At the seminar, we share Epson’s purpose and value creation story to develop the participants’ ability to think about the roles of their own organization and the issues they are tackling. The GIS is continuing to develop leaders who support our businesses around the world together with the Global Executive Seminar (GES) for executive managers. A combined total of more than 400 people have participated in this seminar since 1999. Seven out of eight local personnel currently serving as representatives at our overseas subsidiaries have participated in the GIS (as of August 2023).
We did not hold the GIS from FY2019 to FY2021 due to COVID-19. However, we resumed the seminar online from the end of February to the end of March in FY2022 with 39 participants from 14 countries around the world. The participants held workshops at their workplaces during the period of the training on the purpose they learned in the training program. They then held meetings to exchange opinions on their individual and workplace purposes. The participants deepened their understanding of our long-term vision and business strategies through direct communication with executive management at the end of this training. The participants from different regions, functions and businesses mutually shared their issues and efforts. They also thought about how to produce Epson value and declared their action plans to the executive management.
We will continue to provide this training program in the future. Our aim is to further extend the abilities of diverse human resources in countries and regions around the world so that they become the driving force behind the next generation of Epson.
Comment from a GIS Participant
I am very happy I was able to participate in the GIS. I can proudly say that being able to participate in this training program was a once in a lifetime experience. I was able to gain a deeper understanding of Epson’s purpose and philosophy to value the environment and to pursue customer satisfaction through the GIS. It served as an impetus to create new organization goals while changing my own way of thinking and perspective. Participating in GIS has made me want to pursue my career at Epson with more passion and motivation than ever before.
Global Executive Seminar (GES)
In FY2017, Epson launched the inaugural Global Executive Seminar (GES) to further strengthen executive management at overseas affiliates. The seminar is designed to develop leaders who are capable of devising strategies and analyzing issues, leaders who can help guide us toward Epson’s long-term goals, understand the roles that they and their companies should play, and identify changes to make in a business environment where the future is hard to read. The seminar starts with a three-day group training session (session 1) and is followed by a year-long period during which participants apply lessons in actual practice, after which they gather to report the results over two days (session 2).
(The GES has been suspended since session 1 of 2020-21.)
Through programs like these, we are laying a more robust business foundation worldwide for responding to change and executing strategies.
Employees sent to Japan for training
Epson invites technical interns and trainees from its overseas manufacturing sites to stay in Japan for a period of three months to one year to participate in educational programs that give them an opportunity to learn skills and techniques not available in their home countries and helps them enhance their understanding of work processes.
We have accepted a total of more than 1,800 technical internees and trainees since 1988. Unfortunately, we had to suspend the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic in FY2020 and FY2021. However, we welcomed eight participants for the first time in three years in FY2022.
The photo shows technical interns inspecting parts manufactured with dies they made themselves.
Employing and Supporting Persons with Disabilities
Epson considers the active participation in the workplace of people with disabilities as an important DE&I issue. We have set a target for an actual employment rate of people with disabilities of 3% by FY2030. We want people with disabilities to be able to grow together with our company and to contribute to the creation of results by utilizing their individual strengths. To achieve that, we are striving to realize natural support in the workplace and to improve the quality of the active participation in the workplace of people with disabilities by providing specialized support to superiors and coworkers in addition to giving consideration to those who have disabilities. We will continue to increase the number of opportunities for people with disabilities at our special subsidiaries with 40 years of know-how and strengths.
Epson Mizube Corp.
Epson Mizube was founded in 1983 as a special subsidiary of Seiko Epson. It began with a workforce of 15 people, 11 of whom had disabilities. Since then, it has steadily expanded job opportunities for persons with disabilities in the Epson Group and in the local community.
Epson Mizube's stated purpose is to contribute to society and realize employee happiness through diversity and inclusion. It embraces respect, unity, study, autonomy, and sincerity as common values.
As of the end of June 2023, Epson Mizube employed 157 persons with disabilities at seven sites. They are engaged in a wide variety of capacities in offices, manufacturing, environmental recycling, and more.
Facilities cleaning services, which were launched in 2008, have grown into a core business. As of the end of March 2023, Epson Mizube employs 62 people on its cleaning crews. Since 2017, a PaperLab upcycling model line has expanded employment opportunities for persons with disabilities while reducing Epson's environmental impact. Employees on the line sort used paper, operate the PaperLab systems, and use the dry-fiber paper (DFP) created to produce business cards, notebooks, and other items.
Participation at the Abilympics (National Skills Competition Games for Persons with Disabilities)
Epson Mizube actively participates in the Abilympics aiming to improve professional skills. We participated in the product packing competition at the National Abilympics held in FY2022. The sight of competitors aiming to participate at the games and the workplaces initiatives to assist them provided encouragement to working people with disabilities. That has led to dynamic workplaces.
Their Imperial Majesties Emperor and Empress Pay Virtual Visit to Epson Mizube
On December 17, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Their Imperial Majesties Emperor and Empress made a virtual visit to Epson Mizube Corp.
Their Majesties showed great interest in the effort that Epson Mizube employees were putting into their jobs and had warm, heartfelt messages for each.
At the end, His Majesty the Emperor remarked that "I am grateful to have had this conversation with persons who have disabilities." Her Majesty the Empress also expressed her appreciation, saying, "I'm glad to hear how actively you are all working. COVID-19 is creating challenges for everyone. Please take care of yourselves."
Their Majesties' visit will encourage persons with disabilities working throughout Japan. For Epson Mizube employees, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they will never forget.
Epson Swan Corp.
Epson Swan Corp. started operating in March 2002, when it was established as a special subsidiary of Tohoku Epson Corporation in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture. It was the first certified special subsidiary in Yamagata Prefecture. It is presently a special subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation. Located on the grounds of Tohoku Epson, Epson Swan employs 23 persons with disabilities (as of June 1, 2023) to clean cleanroom suits and provide facilities cleaning services within Tohoku Epson. In October 2020, the staff also began preparing materials (sorting paper) for processing with PaperLabs. Moreover, cleanroom suit cleaning has been a part of Epson Swan's operations since its founding. It provides this service to multiple Seiko Epson sites as well as to other local companies.
In addition to employee and leisure support, Epson Swan also focuses on professional development. As part of this, they compete in the facilities cleaning category at the Abilympics. In FY2022, they came in first place at the Yamagata Prefecture competition and qualified for the national competition for the second consecutive year following on from FY2021. Epson Swan periodically publishes the magazine "Smile" to promote communication within and beyond Epson. The magazine, available on the company's internal website and in print form, is packed with all types of information about Epson Swan. A total of 49 issues have been released, counting the most recent published in the second half of FY2022.
Workforce Composition and Service Period
|Junior Mgmt. Ratio*1
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 31, 2023.
*1 Team leader
Length of Employment
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation employees as of March 31, 2023.
|Total turnover ratio
|Voluntary turnover ratio
* Data for Seiko Epson Corporation of March 20 of that year.