Inclusivity is also a competitive advantage

Supporting diversity is not just about doing the right thing, it’s also about gaining a business edge. Recognising different experiences within the company, and leading accordingly, creates a competitive advantage with increased potential, better output, and wider perspectives. 

It is wise to recognise all the colours of the rainbow also in the financial sector. Last month, Danske Bank wrote that their employees in rainbow families have equal right to paid parental leave where biological relation to the child does not matter.

”All our employees must be able to go on parental leave when they become parents – regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation or non-biological relation to the child”, says Karsten Breum, head of group HR at Danske Bank.

In Finland, Nordea and Varma are again official partners of Helsinki Pride. This year’s Pride parade and park festival are organised as hybrid events that take place both outdoors and online. The event website includes an online parade section for the event partner organisations as well as private individuals.

Nordea has established several working groups to promote an equal and diverse work environment and to give voice to minorities.

”Simply eliminating discrimination is not enough. We must see the benefits of diversity also in our working culture. Creativity and efficiency improve when everyone in the work community can be who they are, and therefore give their best”, says Sini Kivekäs, head of HR Finland at Nordea.

Varma has focused on developing the transparency and fairness of wages as well as gender equality in career opportunities. The company involves all employees in training sessions and this year also produced a new online course on equality.

“It is important for people in Finnish workplaces to talk about these things. Big marketing campaigns and a laconic ‘Everyone is welcome here’ are not enough. We need to increase knowledge and understanding about sexual and gender minorities through dialogue and by coaching both personnel and management. This also helps strengthen psychological safety and recognise any barriers minorities may face in their places of work,” says Katri Viippola, senior vice president at Varma.