With its annual equality award, Trade Union Pro recognises working life initiatives that improve wage equality between men and women, help to reconcile work and family life, equality planning or preventing and tackling sexual and gender-based harassment in the workplace. The prize is primarily awarded to Trade Union Pro-affiliated workplaces, Pro members or employee representatives. This year, the prize was awarded to Nokia and Ramboll Finland.
Promoting gender equality is an important part of Pro’s work and lobbying.
“This means promoting good cooperation in the workplace, for example by keeping equal opportunities on the agenda during collective bargaining negotiations”, says Trade Union Pro president Jorma Malinen.
The purpose of the equality award is to acknowledge and highlight good practices in workplaces.
Pro’s 2019 gender equality Prize was awarded to Nokia Corporation for its salary survey, which was made an annual project. The work was conducted by going through the salaries of all the company’s employees to find and eliminate unjustified differences in pay. The project also involves setting apart a separate budget for correcting unjustified pay differences. The global project concerned 103,000 employees. Around 90 per cent of the changes resulting from the project concerned women’s salaries.
Nokia made diversity and equality its priorities for 2019. Wage equality is part of these efforts, says Anneli Karlstedt, who is head of inclusion and diversity at Nokia.
“The decision to intervene in the problem of unjustified pay differences came from Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri. It has been positively accepted throughout our organisation, in Finland and globally. Pro’s equality award is great recognition for us”.
According to employee representative Janne Lindström, the initiative has sparked positive debate. The staff also appreciates the fact that such a wage review will continue to be carried out annually. Pro’s equality prize was warmly welcomed.
“This feels great to us. Such publicity and actions will also make the role of employee representatives even more meaningful”.
Pro’s equality award was granted to Ramboll Finland in recognition of its work in facilitating the reconciliation of work and other aspects of its employees’ lives. This is that second year that the company offers paid leave for employees with a child beginning school.
The parents of children entering first grade are granted one to three days of paid leave, and fathers and mothers are eligible. In addition, Ramboll has other practices in place relating to different life situations, such as flexible working hours and shortened working hours.
According to Ramboll HR manager Sanna Knuuti, news of the award has been met with delight at Ramboll.
“This is wonderful recognition. We have worked well with union employee representatives and made changes. Paid leave for parents with children starting school was one employee’s idea that was put into practice. We carry out an annual job satisfaction survey to determine how equality is realised in the workplace, and based on the results it’s clear that our employees feel strongly that they have equal opportunities to progress in their career at Ramboll, regardless of gender”, Knuuti says.
Work and working time arrangements and other ways of combining work and other parts of life improve wellbeing in the workplace and support parents of young children, for example, or employees who need time to care for elderly parents.
According to employee representative Aija Nuoramo of Ramboll Finland’s Espoo office, the company’s employees appreciate such flexibility and are pleased at the company being recognised for its commitment to equality.
“This recognition confirms that we are on the right track. In my meetings with employee representatives of other companies, it has been great to notice that this has also been taken not of in other companies”, says Nuoramo.
In granting this year’s equality awards, Pro gave an honourable mention to a study for an academic degree that examined equality planning and its practical implementation. The study was conducted in 2018–2019 and provides ideas and tools to employee representatives for promoting equality. Ida Hertzböle, Aija Koivuranta, Päivi Polso, Sirpa Rautiainen and Ariitta Setälä interviewed ten Trade Union Pro employee representatives on their attitudes and contributions to equality planning.
According to Ariitta Setälä, an employee representative at WSP Finland for the southern Finland region, the idea for the study emerged from a desire to find out how everyone can tackle problems and participate in equality-related work.
“This recognition continues to encourage the belief that an individual’s example and the actions of employee representatives are things that can be done to improve the realisation of equality and fairness on a daily basis. The actions involved don’t always have to be major gestures”, Setälä says.
The equality awards and honourable mention were announced today in conjunction with the Women's Payday initiative of the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK.