Workplaces need to switch gears in how they manage diversity

Workplaces need more competence and practices for diversity management and in creating an inclusive work culture. Labour shortages and increasingly tight competition over employees are highlighting the need to utilize the competence of international experts. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has published the guide “Diversity and inclusion in an expert organization”. The guide provides guidance for workplaces in their diversity work and introduces a variety of practices to facilitate this work.
Monimuotoinen tiimi kokoontuu työpalaverissa.
Barbara Bergbom
Barbara Bergbom
Henkilökuva Kirsi Yli-Kaitala.
Kirsi Yli-Kaitala

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health media release, 31 August 2022 

The personnel at Finnish workplaces are diverse and continue to become even more diverse. Employees also differ from each other based on many factors other than language and nationality. Diversity management and the creation of an inclusive work culture are important skills that enable making a workplace attractive. 

Get rid of barriers 

Studies show that personnel diversity can be a success factor, but only if it is managed correctly. There are many barriers to making use of diversity in Finnish work life. 

For example, discrimination is common – it occurs in recruitment and also has an impact on employees’ opportunities for career development. People can feel left out for a variety of reason and such experiences cause stress and reduce commitment to the workplace. In other words, there is still work to do in order to ensure that everyone feels that they are welcome at their workplace, that they belong and are a valued member of the community,” says Barbara Bergbom, Leading Specialist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.  

The perspective of competence utilization, meaning that the skills of each employee are utilized as well as possible, is another important reason to develop diversity management skills,” points out Senior Specialist Kirsi Yli-Kaitala.   

The guide offers practices and tips 

The FIOH guide describes how organizations can get started with diversity and inclusion work and develop it further over the long term. It also describes the first steps in diversity work and how to promote a cohesive work culture where everyone feels included.  

The guide also presents language-aware practices to help multilingual work communities remove barriers to participation and competence utilization. It also challenges employers to consider their relationship with required language skills for work, and to assess if certain jobs could be carried out with fewer language skills. 

The guide responds to the needs of today’s working life by also detailing how workplaces can ensure equitable career development and ensuring that needed skills are put to good use.  

Committed employees play a key role in organizations’ success. The guide describes practices to prevent experiences of being excluded and to strengthen employee well-being and commitment to their work and the workplace.  

Even small actions and steps help in creating a more inclusive work culture,” says Barbara Bergbom. The key is to pay attention to inclusivity and improving it in the workplace.” 

The guide has been prepared especially for expert organizations, but it can also be used by other workplaces. 

Read the guide 

Diversity and inclusion in an expert organization ( 

Further information 

Leading Specialist Barbara Bergbom, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, barbara.bergbom [at] (barbara[dot]bergbom[at]ttl[dot]fi), tel. +358 30 474 2957 

Senior Specialist Kirsi Yli-Kaitala, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, kirsi.yli-kaitala [at] (kirsi[dot]yli-kaitala[at]ttl[dot]fi), tel. +358 30 474 2026 

The guide was created in 2022 as part of the “Manifold more” project funded by the European Social Fund. Managers, HR representatives and female experts with immigrant background from diverse organizations were interviewed for the guide. 

The Manifold more project 

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