Advancing the Leadership of Women is not a CSR Initiative; It’s a Competitive Imperative

A global innovator founded 72 years ago in Tokyo, with its North American Headquarters here, in Rancho Bernardo, Sony leads in broadcast technology, gaming, motion pictures, music and with the hardware of Sony Electronics.  Sony’s excellence can be seen not only in its technology, but in its commitment to inclusion, diversity, STEM and the advancement of the female workforce not only around the globe, but here in San Diego.

As part of its commitment to advance women in leadership, Sony has supported Athena for two decades. Athena is a women’s empowerment organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development.“Athena provides women in technical leadership roles the opportunity to network and get mentoring from others in similar positions,” explained Erna Adelson. These opportunities allow for women pursuing technical careers to access the contacts and experience to excel in their fields. Mike Fasulo, President & COO of Sony Electronics Inc. shared with Giving Back Magazine, “Many organizations falsely assume that the lack of women in leadership is due to a weak pipeline of qualified women. However, the data tells a different story: Women outnumber men in college graduation rates – 57% of bachelor’s degrees, 60% of master’s degrees and 51% of doctoral degrees are completed by women. That seems like a robust pipeline to me!”

The relationship between Sony and Athena is one that is close to their hearts: Erna Adelson, Sr. Director of Finance Systems for Sony Interactive Entertainment spent 6 years on the Board at Athena, who then recruited Cheryl Goodman, Head of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, at the time a Senior Director at Qualcomm and led Athena for 2 years and Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition & Employee Engagement at Sony Electronics Inc. who currently serves on the board of Athena. Cheryl Goodman shared: “Investing in the development of all employees is not just the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do!”

“Plenty of arguments exist for increasing the focus around closing the gender gap, but the most compelling is the growing body of research showing gender-diverse companies are more successful across all metrics,” shared Lee Wills, Sony’s Head of Talent & Culture. This investment in the future is generating rewards today as Sony is proud to recognize two of its own women leaders as Athena 2019 Pinnacle Award nominees. Theresa Alesso, who started at Sony as an Administrative Assistant and is now President of Imaging Products & Solutions Professional Division, and Maya Wasserman, Sr. Marketing Manager of Home Entertainment and Sound, are both Athena Pinnacle Award Nominees.

The Pinnacle Awards showcase the best in class of those advancing the promotion of women working in STEM. These Pinnacle awards recognize extraordinary women and men who personify Athena’s mission of empowering 1 million women working and leading in STEM, by 2030. Sony is proud to support this resource for our women and the Pinnacle Scholarships which help pay it forward to the next generation. We invite you to join us!