Pride Week reminds us of the only alternative available for Finnish working life: to move forward. The right to live without discrimination is a human right, but non-discrimination also has wider implications. In working life, diversity improves employee wellbeing and encourages people to express their ideas. Furthermore, it increases productivity and competitiveness; the very things Finland now needs and should excel at.
Discrimination, inappropriate treatment and identity concealment are everyday issues for members of sexual or gender minorities. This is not acceptable in Finnish working life. We must raise the bar and weed out all discrimination.
Although our legislation is by and large up to date, problems are often structural and invisible, affecting recruitment and career development. To combat discrimination in working life, we need to recognise it and find more effective ways to eradicate it. Discrimination in working life has a significant impact on the wellbeing of the affected persons and on their ability to pursue their desired careers.
This is why we launched a research project in May, which seeks to provide an overview of discrimination in working life and to identify ways of preventing discrimination, particularly in recruitment situations. In addition, a development programme for work and wellbeing at work is being prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, with support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, aiming to make Finland the world leader in wellbeing at work by 2030.
We need measures in all sectors of society to achieve equality in working life and to increase wellbeing at work. Outside political decision-making, we need to focus on our attitudes and everyday actions. We all have an opportunity and a duty to fight discrimination and to embrace change.
Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen