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Diversity in the Finnish tech industry: first study reveals issues with gender equality, internationality a positive surprise

04.07.2019

Inklusiiv challenged Finnish fast-growing technology companies to report their diversity data in the spring of 2019. The challenge was issued to tech companies either employing over 50 people or with a revenue more than 50M euros. Companies that shared their diversity data were: Accenture, Exove, Frantic, Freska, Nightingale Health, Smartly, Solita, Supercell, Reaktor, Vainu, Varjo, Vincit, Wolt, Wunder ja Zalando.

In the survey, Inklusiiv gathered data about gender, age, nationality, and abilities.

The key findings were:

  • The amount of women varies a lot between companies
  • Tech companies almost fully lack of mature workers
  • Companies are very international
  • Disabilities are not reported

Highlights:

  • The highest number of different nationalities: Smartly
  • Biggest share of non-Finnish people: Freska
  • The broadest age distribution: Accenture
  • The best gender balance: Frantic Oy

Companies had a chance to freely tell about projects and experiences related to the surveyed topic. Inklusiiv wanted to give two recognitions to companies taking very concrete actions.

The first recognition goes to Wunder, who has hired coders from Integrify, a company that educates immigrants to code, and also from the Mimmit koodaa -network for women who code.

The second recognition goes to Solita for tracking equality and inclusivity internally. In addition to that, they offer mentoring to employees who are parents and support women in tech by organizing events and training.

Key findings

The share of women varies a lot

On average, 28% of employees are women and 72% are men, regarding every type of role in the company. The lowest amount of women in a company was 11% when the highest rate was at 66%. Only a few companies reported on other gender options.

Mature workers almost fully absent in tech companies

The most common age group is 30-39 year-olds, and two-thirds of employees are below 40 years old. Over 50 year-olds are a rarity, and only a few companies employ people over 60 years old.

International employees are well presented in tech

The Finnish technology industry is somewhat international. On average, there are 22 different nationalities per company. The lowest amount of different nationalities at a company was seven, and the highest reported was 40. The share of non-Finnish employees varies from 5 % to 75 % of employees in total. A few companies have over 50% of employees other than Finnish nationalities.

Disabilities are not tracked.

Diversity practices reported by companies

Companies were able to tell about their projects and experiences around diversity and inclusion. Companies are implementing the following practices:

  • English as an official language to be more inclusive with international employees
  • Hiring programmers through Integrify, a company that trains immigrants to code, and through Mimmit koodaa community for women coders
  • Activities regarding the diversity of genders and sexual orientations, mental wellbeing and health, the diversity of cultures, equality of genders, social responsibilities as well as enabling a better balance between work, all different stages of life, and family.
  • Trainings to tackle unconscious bias
  • Tracking equality and inclusivity internally
  • The leadership of the company participates in public conversations regarding diversity
  • Offering part-time or remote work possibilities and mentoring during family leave to enable more balanced and equal family life
  • Arranging different activities like technology training or events and collaborating with schools to get women and other minorities involved
  • Internal inclusion group at the workplace (Työpaikalle on perustettu sisäinen inklusiivisuusyhteisö)

How was the survey conducted?

Inklusiiv initiative was launched on April 7, 2019, with coverage from Kauppalehti. The need for a campaign promoting diversity and inclusion in tech was urgent. While there was already a lot of discussion about these topics in the US or Sweden, for example, Finland lacked the general knowledge of what terms to use, why this matters and what to do about it.

In 2018, Tivi did a study about the diversity of the Finnish IT industry. The diversity data of Inklusiiv was focused on fast-growing tech companies, that hadn’t participated in Tivi’s study. Inklusiiv’s survey was available for a bit over a month and companies were challenged to take part through the Inklusiiv website. Kauppalehti covered the topic as well. The results are reported as a summary, not per company, because according to the statistics professionals some small percentages for example in age distribution can violate the protection of privacy.

What next?

This study was an important first step towards better knowledge about the state of Finnish technology and raising awareness about diversity and inclusion. In the future, knowledge is needed about the diversity of engineering teams, as they are the ones developing technologies. In addition to this, it would be essential to know about the diversity of people founding and investing in companies.

The lack of diverse role models has been pinpointed in many technology industry studies. It is important to study what kind of pictures people, especially minorities, do have in their minds about the tech field. It is clear that there is a need for sharing information regarding the best practises about diversity and inclusion amongst companies. Luckily, there exists already a lot of knowledge and research about this.

Inklusiiv warmly thanks brave, forward-looking tech companies, who jumped in and took part in this survey with a very short time frame. We will look forward continuing to collaborate for the sake of more diverse and inclusive worklife!

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