Equality and non-discrimination in employment management

Taking gender equality into account in employment management means that when operations are planned, implemented and assessed, attention is paid to the way gender and other factors affect people’s ability to find jobs and participate in services that support employment. The Finnish labour market is strongly divided into female- and male-dominated fields and professions. This phenomenon is called occupational segregation.

Segregation affects Finnish society in many ways. It has an impact on education, salary levels, parental leaves, career development and pensions, for example. Occupational segregation does not only affect work but also employment management and job-seekers’ opportunities to gravitate towards different kinds of work. Segregation makes it necessary to take account of the effects of gender in the planning and provision of employment-promoting services. This makes it possible to tailor these services to match the challenges faced by job-seekers of different genders. Employment management is also a way to reduce gender segregation in the labour market. When tackling segregation, it is important to note that unemployment is different for people of different ages, ethnic origins and people with different abilities to function.

In 2016–2018, the employment services of the Cities of Espoo and Vantaa partnered with Ekvalita to conduct the ViVa – Virtaviivaisuutta valtavirtaistamiseen project. The name is Finnish for “streamlining gender mainstreaming”. The project received funding from the European Social Fund (ESF). The materials below were produced during the project to support equality and non-discrimination in municipal employment services.

Fair Game learning game

Fair Game is a learning game that provides fresh perspectives on your work by letting you assume the role of a customer. The game is set in employment services and intended for employment service staff. People in other fields can benefit from it as well, particularly municipal workers who encounter clients on a daily basis.

Instructions for playing the game alone or with your team are linked at the bottom of this page. Internet Explorer does not support the game’s sounds. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge instead.

Equality guidebook for municipal employment services

Published in Finnish, “Oikeus työhön tasavertaisin edellytyksin” (“right to work on an equal basis”) is a guidebook that supports the equality and non-discrimination efforts of municipal employment services. The guidebook presents a six-step change process for integrating equality and non-discrimination into everyday work. It also includes concrete examples collected during the ViVa project.

Training packages

The ViVa project piloted trainings for workshop instructors working in employment services. Two training packages were put together on the basis of these pilot trainings. One of them contains materials for equality and non-discrimination training. The other is an orientation for workshop instructors, integrating perspectives on equality and non-discrimination. The training packages and the equality guidebook for municipal employment services are intended to provide inspiration for municipal employees’ equality and non-discrimination trainings.