Technology Industries of Finland: Employers Play a Key Role in Equality and non-discrimination
According to the Technology Industries of Finland, the government's statement on promoting equality, diversity and non-discrimination contains commendable goals for advancing anti-racism work in Finland. While these goals are a good starting point, the crucial aspect is their implementation. Discriminatory attitudes and structures still persist in Finland and must be rectified.
– Technology industry companies have long prioritized talent acquisition and the successful integration of immigrants, as well as the development of diverse work communities. Diversity, broadly viewed, is clearly linked to the success of businesses, and companies can no longer thrive without immigrants. The role of the workplace in promoting equality is of particular importance, and employers are pivotal in anti-racism efforts, says Deputy CEO Minna Helle.
The Technology Industries of Finland has member companies with employees from 70 to 100 different nationalities, and they have been working to create multicultural work environments for a long time.
– The Technology Industries of Finland did not have to consider its stance on racism; racism is an absolute no-go. From the perspective of industry and businesses, racism weakens the operational capabilities of companies and Finland's reputation. However, primarily, it's about every individual's right to equality and fairness in workplaces and society as a whole. The discussions about racism this summer have been necessary for us as a society to understand what racism means and to commit to its prevention, says Helle.
The Technology Industries of Finland commits to the goals outlined in the government's statement, which includes actions to be developed in collaboration with labor market organizations.
– The goal of combating recruitment discrimination should be supported, and the exploitation of workers in the labor market must be brought under control for us to be credible as employers who employ equally. Also in the technology industry, many companies still have room for improvement in recruiting immigrants. In this regard, as well as in promoting multiculturalism, we will continue to support and guide our members, adds Helle.
There is still work to be done, not only in workplace practices and procedures but also in hidden biases and unconscious behaviors.
The Technology Industries of Finland has initiatives like Valo 2.0 aimed at supporting member companies in becoming attractive employers and workplaces on the international stage. Our Diversity and Equality Guide informs companies on how to attract international talent and ensure their well-being. Additionally, we organize training sessions and workshops on promoting diversity in the workplace.
The government should reevaluate its proposals that involve structural discrimination
The government focuses on structural discrimination in its statement. Therefore, the government should critically assess the provision in its program that requires immigrants to find a new job or leave the country within three months. Technology industry companies with years of experience in international recruitment are deeply concerned about this provision.
– New recruitment processes often take longer than three months, and international professionals often have spouses and children working in Finland. Finland is not always the first choice for these international experts, so we should make every effort to keep them. While companies actively attract international talent to Finland along with their families, we are also presenting them with a strict ultimatum as a possible new home country. It's important to remember that even one satisfied professional or expert can influence dozens of new international recruitments, emphasizes Helle.
Minna Helle, Deputy CEO, Technology Industries of Finland, tel. 050 341 4884, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @MinnaHelle