Press release: Diversity boosting companies’ growth

Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, Finland Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment launch Successful Multicultural Company Campaign that brings up and awards companies that have succeeded in multiculturalism and internationalization.

– Multicultural workforce can be a real competitive advantage to companies who aspire to develop their business or aim to international markets. The purpose of the Successful Multicultural Company Campaign is to stir up the society to recognize the advantages of multiculturalism and to encourage companies to develop their abilities to face diversity, Skanska Ltd.’s HR Director and jury’s chair Kirsi Mettälä says.

– By participating to the Successful Multicultural Company Campaign the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment wants to support companies in developing diverse working life. Diversity generates new innovations and companies. We at the Ministry work to make it easier for companies to find international talents to boost their growth, Permanent Secretary Jari Gustafsson states.

Multiculturalism as competition advantage for companies

According to a survey, conducted by Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, one fourth of the companies recruiting international employees have gained new approaches and perspectives to their business and their customer satisfaction has improved.

60% of the companies that responded to the survey have international workforce. Respective share of companies with less than 10 employees is two fifths. In companies employing over 50 employees the share was almost 90%.

– In addition to skilled workforce, the international employees help companies in internationalization by recognizing potential new markets and strengthening the export actives. Other notable effects are the increased customer satisfaction, product development and language skills, Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce’s Project Director Markku Lahtinen says.

The survey was responded by 360 Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce’s member and customer companies from the Uusimaa region.

As a part of the campaign a competition in search for successful multicultural companies will be organised. The purpose of the competition is to recognise and bring up positive testimonials and experiences companies have on multiculturalism. The competition is executed through survey that is conducted by campaign’s expert partner itim International. The competition is free and open to companies operating in Finland. Registration period is 20.1.-31.5.2017.

Competition’s jury’s Chair is HR Director Kirsi Mettälä (Skanska Oy), and the other members are Permanent Secretary Jari Gustafsson (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment), CEO Risto E.J. Penttilä (Finland Chamber of Commerce), CEO Minna Vanhala-Harmanen (Opteam Oy) and HR Director Antero Levänen (HOK-Elanto). Managing Director Egbert Schram from itim International is jury’s expert representative.

Campaign is executed under At Work in Finland/COME project, funded by European Social Fund and Helsinki Uusimaa Regional Council.

Chamber survey 1_2017 Companies’ views on multicultural workforce, target markets and economic trends

Additional information

Markku Lahtinen
Project Director, Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce/COME Project
+358 50 571 3564

Laura Lindeman
Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
+358 29 504 7205