Text: Teemu Turunen, Futurice
Futurice is proud to be one of the main partners for Helsinki Pride this year. It is the biggest cultural event focusing on human rights in Finland and we had the honour to design their new web presence. We also implemented the site together with Helsinki Digitalents.
There’s really no need to list the ideological reasons why promoting human rights, and equality specifically, is the right thing to do. Sexual diversity is not an exception to that rule. It is the right thing to do. If you have doubts, educate yourself.
Providing cold and calculated business reasons for leading by ethical imperative may be necessary, though. Contrary to conventional wisdom, what we are doing with Pride and with the Chilicorn Fund or the Spice Program makes a lot of sense in the business context.
Finland has been growing small for us for a number of years now, both in terms of new business and recruitment. We Finns may take pride in our taciturn manners, but that doesn’t usually play well outside our borders. We are in the business of creating digital services, so understanding the diverse communities and different cultures of the people who use the services is very important.
The innovativeness of our organisation has skyrocketed as we’ve grown more diverse. Combining our healthy culture of mutual respect and trust with a wealth of different cultural backgrounds, ways of thinking, and personalities allows us to solve all problems we encounter.
Everyone wants happy employees, so it’s essential that people feel comfortable where they work. We must feel safe. We must be safe from discrimination – the unintentional sort, too. We must not be placed in awkward situations by people making assumptions regarding any aspect of our lives, identities and the myriad things that make us what we are.
Building an environment like this requires that everyone makes an effort. There are things to learn and consider, some language and mannerisms best retired, or at least excluded from the workplace. Education is the key. Battling the unconscious bias in recruitment is also very important, or we can only dream of diversity.
This is why we value our partnership with Helsinki Pride and its organiser HeSeta Ry, the Helsinki region’s main LGBTIQ rights organisation. It signals our values and intent. HeSeta’s experts will also provide concrete assistance in the form of training and advice to help us improve our inclusivity as a company.
We hope this partnership increases our workplace diversity further by sending the message that we don’t just have good intentions – we are willing to put in the effort to make Futurice a better company and the world a slightly better place.