Kuvaaja
Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää
Kirjoittaja
Katariina Rönnqvist
Translation: Apropos Lingua
Translation: Pride.fi

TEK is a partner of Helsinki Pride

The Helsinki Pride Week celebrating equality is held 28.6.-4.7.2021 in the form of a hybrid event. TEK proudly stands by Pride to ensure a Finnish working life that includes everyone.

Helsinki Pride is Finland’s largest human rights and cultural event. The program consists of a variety of program contents, such as workshops, excursions, peer meetings, lectures and presentations – and an online Pride parade. Helsinki Pride will be implemented in a so-called hybrid form: the events will be organized partly online and partly as physical gatherings within the limits of current authority recommendations. The heart of Helsinki Pride Week is Helsinki City Hall aka Pride House and Youth Pride House in Vallila. Helsinki Pride Week culminates in a concert on Saturday, July 3. The concert can be watched live on Pride Stream and Yle Teema.

The week is produced by the Helsinki Pride Community, dozens of partner organizations and numerous volunteers. The official protector of Helsinki Pride is Prime Minister Sanna Marin. TEK is an official partner of Helsinki Pride for the second year in a row and celebrates Pride throughout the week.

TEK is participating because it wants to improve working life and make the world a better place. This can be achieved when everyone gets to be themselves and nobody is forced to pretend they're something they're not, believes Director of Public Affairs at TEK, Juhani Nokela.

– Pride exists to ensure that nobody is left alone, safeguarding especially the status of sexual and gender minorities in society. We at TEK proudly stand by Pride in making Finnish working life and the world more welcoming to everyone, Nokela says.

Official partners of Helsinki Pride are an example of how companies and organizations can also take concrete action in social issues and support change for the better.

– We are extremely proud of the cooperation and support our partners provide us in our work to promote equality, says Aaro Horsma, the Executive Director of the Helsinki Pride Community.

Safe working life for everyone

The theme of the year commemorates the anniversaries of Finnish rainbow history. The year 2021 is a special anniversary year because that is when it will be over

  • 50 years since the criminalization of homosexual acts
  • 40 years since homosexuality was removed from the mental health classification
  • 30 years since the founding of the Helsinki Pride community (Seta, Helsinki region).

The Helsinki Pride Community is proud of the change that has taken place after such an arduous struggle. However, the community says there is still more work to do to ensure a Finland where everyone is safe and equal.

Characteristics related to a person's gender or sexuality do not define how they perform in their work or which tasks they are suitable for.

This also extends to working life. According to TEK’s Work Life Specialist Sirkku Pohja, we should all come together and strive towards a working life that welcomes and embraces every employee. 

– Characteristics related to a person's gender or sexuality do not define how they perform in their work or which tasks they are suitable for. In this day and age, no workplace can think that gender diversity does not belong there. Talking about sexual and gender minorities is important at every workplace, but especially those workplaces where such discussions have not yet been had, Pohja says. 

Pohja encourages every work community to acquire information and training in this regard. Information helps to understand differences and prevent discrimination.

– We easily assume a person's gender on the basis of their looks, for example. These assumptions are not always correct, however, and they might be hurtful. Differences in humans must be discussed even at work and work communities must strive to actively create a safe space for everyone. If you are able to be yourself at work, your minority stress level is reduced, which is beneficial for the overall well-being and performance of the entire workplace, says Pohja.