Human Rights and LaborDiversity and Inclusion

We aspire to be a company that grows by openly accepting and working with people having different characteristics and perspectives.

Policy on Respecting Diversity

Under our corporate philosophy of kyosei, Canon respects diversity globally and actively encourages the fair hiring and promotion of employees, regardless of gender, age, or disability.

In 2012, Canon Inc. established Vital workforce and Value Innovation through Diversity (VIVID), a company-wide horizontally integrated organization to promote diversity.

Diversity Promotion Structure

Diversity Promotion Structure


  • Respecting diversity as an important issue, promote the introduction of new systems across the Canon Group rather than seeking to replace existing systems. Strive to change employees’ thinking and raise awareness of diversity issues.
  • Revise HR policies and workplace conditions to avoid any limitations or restrictions being placed on the career opportunities afforded to talented people with the ambition to succeed.
  • Promote internal/external dissemination of information on diversity promotion activities to help identify/develop role models and encourage wider adoption of optimal workplace conditions.

Three Steps Towards Diversity

STEP1 Acknowledge the Problem, STEP2 Change Awareness, STEP3 Make Diversity a Habit

Promoting the Active Participation of Women

As part of promoting diversity, Canon strives to create a workplace environment in which female employees can more actively participate.

At Canon Inc., we have implemented a number of initiatives to deepen understanding of diversity, including exploring issues using employee surveys and roundtable discussions as well as hosting lectures from outside experts.

Additionally, we are using our company intranet to post interviews with various people, including employees who have remained active in balancing their work with various life events, managers who support their activities, and male employees who have taken childcare leave.

Other initiatives include roundtables where female managers talk about their own life experiences, and back-to-work seminars where employees who have returned after childcare leave review case studies with their managers.

Percentage of Female Employees (Canon Inc.)


Employees Managers Executives
15.5 2.6 4.0

(As of December 31, 2017)

Career Support for Women

Canon is committed to providing equal opportunities according to ability and fair treatment for all, irrespective of gender. At the same time, we recognize the need to take a range of measures to promote greater female participation.

One such measure in 2017 was the presentation of an interview with Noriko Gunji, President and CEO of Canon Singapore.

We also organized leadership training for women as part of efforts to develop female candidates for managerial positions. Using the theme of developing a new business proposal, the training provides an opportunity to develop leadership skills, including awareness, agenda setting and persuasiveness.

Since its launch in 2012, more than 130 women have completed leadership training and are playing active roles in their workplaces, including at overseas locations.

Such initiatives are helping to close the gender gap in management gradually. The number of female managers had risen to 114 by 2017, compared with 58 in 2011.

Interview with Noriko Gunji, President and CEO of Canon Singapore

Group Company Activities

Since 2016, activities to promote active participation of women under VIVID have been extended to all Group companies in Japan. Conferences attended by each company’s president and head of human resources have been organized to act as a catalyst for the adoption of initiatives to promote the active participation of women at Group companies in Japan.

In 2017, our Group policies in this area were reformulated. Activity plans and outcomes are being shared annually at meetings of company presidents to help promote initiatives across the Group.

Group companies in Japan are taking a range of steps to support women’s career development, including using roundtable discussions and surveys to gauge awareness, and organizing career training and courses for women who have returned from childcare leave. For example, at Canon Components, Inc., we are organizing the committee to promote female participation.

Meeting of committee to promote female participation at Canon Components, Inc.

In addition, to support higher levels of male participation in key life events, we have disseminated interviews with, and organized seminars by, men who have taken paternity leave. Handbooks on related systems have been distributed.

In addition, Canon U.S.A carries out activities to promote diversity and inclusion based on our philosophy of kyosei. As part of its activities to promote the active participation of women, Canon U.S.A. created a Business Resource Group (BRG) named Women in Leadership Levels (or WiLL for short). This project supports women’s participation through a variety of opportunities, including networking events, lectures and mentoring.

Since 2016, Canon India has held a series of “Ladies Power Lunch” events to enable female employees from various divisions to discuss issues with the CEO. Four lunches were held in 2017 involving a total of 26 female employees. The discussions with management at these events focused on issues such as corporate expectations of women, ways of increasing motivation, and the support required for female career development. Some specific changes have resulted, including various revisions to maternity leave system regulations.

Ladies Power Lunch at Canon India

Activities to Promote Female Participation at Fukushima Canon

Fukushima Canon organizes lectures and seminars by experts as part of an initiative to change the mindset of managers and female employees. Besides introducing a childcare leave system for employees with children up to three years of age, the company has also tried to make working conditions more compatible with raising children, such as by providing parking spaces and lockers for pregnant employees.

In recognition of such efforts, Fukushima Canon has received an award from an organization representing an alliance of 13 prefectural governors in the region in 2017. It has also earned the “Kurumin” mark, an accreditation awarded by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to firms that provide employees with childcare support. Fukushima Canon is the first company in Fukushima Prefecture to gain the mark three times.

Award presentation at the Fukushima Prefecture Government Office

LGBT Community and Other Sexual Minorities

The Canon Group Code of Conduct emphasizes respect for the individual and prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Our initiatives cover sexual minorities, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

With the goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination from the workplace, training for managers includes education on preventing discrimination. Companywide understanding is ensured by holding compliance meetings at the workplace regularly.

With regard to provisions for employees belonging to LGBT community and other sexual minorities, Canon provides such amenities as barrier-free washrooms and private dressing rooms. We also have an internal hotline for employees wishing to speak with a specialist counselor.

Workforce Globalization

Canon is working to establish a Three Regional Headquarters management system in Japan, Europe and the U.S. as part of Phase V of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan. We are now widely searching for talented human resources from around the world to support this system.

As part of these efforts, for example, Canon Inc. has opened the door to international students as part of its regular hiring activities. Non-Japanese nationals are hired as contract workers for specialist positions to utilize their specialized knowledge, skills and experience.

Utilizing the Abilities of Veteran Employees

Canon Inc. makes full use of the wealth of knowledge and skills of its veteran staff. In 1977, a time when the retirement age at most Japanese companies was 55, Canon Inc. was one of the first companies in Japan to set its retirement age at 60. In 1982, we introduced a system for re-employing retired employees until the age of 63.

In 2000, we partially revised our system for re-employment after retirement and introduced a system of open recruitment internally for re-employment posts. Further, we raised the age limit for re-employment to 65 in 2007. A variety of positions with different work environments and working conditions are made available to employees who request re-employment after retiring. These veterans work effectively, putting their experience and expertise to good use in various ways, including as prior-art technology examiners, promoters of intellectual property, career counselors, and quality or environmental inspectors.

As of the end of December 2017, there were 1,059 rehired employees in total, of which 306 were rehired in 2017.

Proactive Support for the Participation of People with Disabilities in Society

Respecting the ideal of normalization* advocated by the United Nations, Canon proactively employs persons with disabilities at Canon Inc. and Canon Group companies in Japan.

For example, at Canon Inc., we have been proactive in employing persons with disabilities for many years. We are doing our utmost to make workplaces more comfortable and accessible for people with disabilities by improving our facilities, including providing greater barrier-free access. Additionally, we are working to expand the range and nature of jobs for people with disabilities, while also ensuring that they are settling into and becoming active members of their assigned workplaces. Canon has incorporated hands-on workplace learning experience into the selection process to ensure that new hires can contribute quickly after they are hired and assigned to a workplace. Canon Wind primarily hires people with intellectual disabilities. In addition to maintaining a high employee retention rate, this employment helps us realize our corporate philosophy of kyosei.

Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan have set up onsite hotlines after the 2016 amendment of the Promotion of Employment of Disabled Persons Law prohibiting discrimination and mandating reasonable consideration for people with disabilities. Canon’s measures to prevent discrimination against disabled people and ensure reasonable consideration at each site include providing individual consultations and personalized assistance or instruction during evacuation training drills and disaster preparedness training. In 2018, Canon Inc. established a dedicated internal unit with the aim of reinforcing and upgrading such support.

Since 2004, Canon Inc. and Canon Group companies in Japan have organized training courses and created e-learning modules to ensure workplaces are attentive to the needs of the hearing-impaired. The training covers communication methods and provides knowledge of hearing disorders to help promote smooth working arrangements. A total of 651 people participated in this training up to and including 2017.

  • * The principle of normalization: According to the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons adopted by the United Nations in 1982, society is made up of many different types of people and it is normal for people with and without disabilities to coexist in all settings. Therefore, we should create an environment in which all people can live and work together.

Number and Percentage of Employees with disabilities at Canon Inc.

Number and Percentage of Employees with disabilities at Canon Inc.

Canon Wind employee attended the Abilympics

The Abilympics (officially known as the National Skills Competition for Persons with Disabilities) is a competition to improve the vocational skills of persons with disabilities and raise the awareness of society at large. Canon provides support for employees to compete at this event. At the 37th Abilympics in 2017, Emi Kubo from Canon Wind represented Oita Prefecture in the product packing category. This was her first appearance at the national competition. Canon Wind is a subsidiary of Oita Canon formed in 2008 as a joint venture with the Social Welfare Corporation Gyoun Welfare Association with the aim of promoting employment for persons with intellectual disabilities. This unique initiative, which aims to open up new areas of work for people with disabilities through manufacturing knowledge, is attracting attention.

Emi Kubo of Canon Wind competes in Abilympics

Various activities for realizing kyosei

Canon holds various activities themed on our corporate philosophy kyosei in order to deepen understanding on diversity for our employees.

In November 2017, about 170 employees attended a lecture by para-triathlete Yukako Hata from Canon Marketing Japan Inc. (Mars Flag, Inage Inter; ranked third in the world as of May 2018).

Yukako Hata speaking about her experiences