Racism is harmful to Finland, that's why it needs to be discussed
The months-long debate about racism has reportedly been uncomfortable for the business sector. While this may be the case, it's important to also see the positive side of the matter. As a young and inexperienced country in terms of immigration, we are still taking our first steps in building a multicultural society, even though there are many companies in sectors like the technology industry where an international workforce is commonplace.
Succeeding in the challenge of multiculturalism is crucial. The chances of success are poor if Finns do not have a common understanding of what racism is and how to approach it. The chances of success are nonexistent if we believe that there is no racism in Finland. Therefore, Finland needed the discussion on racism, and it's important that politicians set an example with their actions in combating racism.
The chances of success are nonexistent if we believe that there is no racism in Finland.
Racism is harmful to Finland and its reputation. During the summer, there have been concerned discussions, especially during coffee breaks at workplaces, particularly in those companies that already employ foreign workers. The discourse needs to change. We cannot afford for Finland to be perceived as a country with a negative attitude towards foreigners. The government's equality and non-discrimination statement provides a good foundation for anti-racism work in Finland, but now the most important phase begins, which is the implementation of the statement.
The business sector has unequivocally condemned racism in the discussion, and Technology Industies of Finland has been working for a long time to promote multiculturalism, as companies simply cannot thrive without international talents. We have published guides, provided training, and shared best practices.
But it is not only about attracting more skilled individuals. Only a workplace that values each of its members, regardless of gender, age, race, or sexual orientation, is a thriving, innovative, and productive one. Ultimately, it's about respecting other people, which is the cornerstone of all human interaction, whether at the workplace or elsewhere.
Only a workplace that values each of its member, regardless of gender, age, race, or sexual orientation, is a thriving, innovative, and productive one.
Although the business sector has taken a firm stance in the racism discussion, employers cannot rest on their laurels. It is clear that racism exists in workplaces as well. Determined efforts must be made to eradicate it. The key role lies with company leadership, which must take the lead both in words and actions. The leadership's tone has a huge impact on whether people truly feel they belong in the workplace.
Building multiculturalism also requires leadership, training, and processes. Leadership's role is the most significant, but every member of the work community also bears responsibility. In everyday life, it comes down to small things: greetings, showing interest, inclusivity, and valuing different opinions.
What makes eradicating workplace racism particularly challenging is that a significant part of it exists beneath the surface – in attitudes and prejudices. It's important that the government's equality and non-discrimination statement mentions issues like recruitment discrimination and its elimination. Many technology companies have implemented practices to ensure there is no bias in the recruitment process – favoritism, prejudices, or stereotypes.
It's important that the government's equality and non-discrimination statement mentions issues like recruitment discrimination and its elimination.
Clear job descriptions and requirements, training for those responsible for recruitment, and pre-planned, uniform interview questions for all applicants ensure that the process is not discriminatory. Anonymous recruitment is a good method, and special attention should be paid to the wording of job advertisements. The goal for the employer is clear: to attract talent and ensure that the best person is chosen.
Technology Industry is committed to anti-racist work and supports the measures in the equality statement. No technology company can think that they will succeed in the future without foreign talents. This requires that everyone in the workplace feels safe, regardless of their background.
Deputy CEO Minna Helle, tel. 050 341 4884, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @MinnaHelle
Technology Industries of Finland: Employers Play a Key Role in Equality and Non-discrimination