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

Guided by its corporate philosophy of Kyosei, Canon respects diversity such as culture, customs, language, and ethnicity, 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, headed by the Executive Vice President.


  • Respecting diversity as an important issue, promote the introduction of new systems across the Canon Group, seeking to replace existing systems, and strive to change employees' thinking and 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.

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 by 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.

Career Support for Women

Canon is committed to providing equal opportunities according to ability and fair treatment for all, irrespective of gender.

At Canon Inc., we organize 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, a total of 154 women have completed the leadership training and are playing active roles in their workplaces, including at overseas locations. Partly as a result of these measures, the number of female managers had risen to 111 in 2018, compared with 58 in 2011.

We also provide lectures and interviews with female executives to create opportunities for raising awareness around working with passion and balancing work with life events.

Meanwhile, Group companies in Japan are also promoting a range of initiatives to encourage active roles for women, including seminars to support women's career development, roundtable discussions and surveys to gauge awareness, and career training and courses for women who have returned from childcare leave.

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

Each group company shares its activity plans and outcomes at meetings of company presidents, which have been held annually since 2016. For example, at Canon Finetech Nisca Inc., a manufacturing cell comprising only employees on reduced work hours has been established in response to feedback from a roundtable meeting of executives and female employees. In this manufacturing cell, innovative approaches to information sharing and multi-skill development have advanced, and a culture has emerged in which workers on reduced hours help one another, helping to boost motivation.

Meanwhile overseas, Canon U.S.A. for example has launched a project called Women in Leadership Levels (WiLL) to support the participation of women through a variety of opportunities, including networking events, lectures and mentoring. Moreover, Canon India has held a series of “Ladies Power Lunch” events since 2016, to enable female employees from various divisions to discuss issues with the CEO. These events enabled direct communication of the company's expectations of female employees, boosting their motivation, while enabling management to grasp the kind of support required for female career development, resulting in various revisions to maternity leave system regulations.

LGBTQ+ Inclusion

The Canon Group Code of Conduct emphasizes respect for the individual and prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our initiatives also cover sexual minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) persons. With the goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination from the workplace, training for managers includes education on preventing discrimination. In addition, we make use of various opportunities to educate employees, such as departmental staff meetings and compliance meetings.

With regard to provisions for employees who identify as a sexual minority, Canon provides such amenities as gender-neutral washrooms. We also have an internal hotline for employees wishing to speak with a specialist counselor.

In other initiatives, in 2018 Canon invited a guest speaker to address a diversity seminar aimed at promoting understanding around various sexualities and expanded insight into communicating with members of sexual minorities. Over 100 employees attended.

Utilizing the Abilities of Veteran Employees

Canon Inc. makes full use of the wealth of knowledge and skills of its veteran staff. In 1977, 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. As of the end of December 2018, there were 1,207 rehired employees in total.

Proactive Support for the Participation of People with Disabilities in Society

Respecting the ideal of normalization*1 advocated by the United Nations, Canon proactively employs persons with disabilities at Canon Inc. and Canon Group companies in Japan.

  • *1The 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.

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 workplace experience and observation sessions into the selection process in some cases to ensure that new hires can contribute quickly after they are hired and assigned to a workplace. Canon Wind*2 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.

  • *2Canon Wind: 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.

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 and took other measures to bolster support for helping employees with disabilities to settle into their workplaces.

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 includes providing knowledge of hearing disorders and introducing sign language to help promote a smooth work flow. A total of 693 people participated in this training up to and including 2018.