The dimensions of non-discrimination
Non-discrimination means that all people are equal and no one can be discriminated based on, for example, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, health status, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. The Non-discrimination Act stipulates that everybody must be treated equally, regardless of their background.
The equal treatment of people in work life means that each person’s special needs and situation in life are taken into account so that they have the same opportunities to work.
Age is still the most common cause of discrimination. Also disabled persons, or those with partial work capacity for some reason, are often subjected to discrimination. Poor knowledge of Finnish or a disability in communication may lead to discrimination.
Although serious cases of intolerance are brought up by the media, all in all, the appreciation of diversity has moved in a positive direction. However, people over 50 years of age, compared to younger people, are still at greater risk of losing their job.
Discrimination is often subconscious. That is why employers should encourage their employees to accept diversity and have a positive attitude toward human differences. Many people are in need of courage to confront diversity.
Diversity is a resource from the perspective of the work community. Different kinds of people complement each other and enrich the work community. Diversity increases innovation and brings out new points of view. Familiarity with other cultures is useful in many kinds of work.
Anonymous recruitment is a good way to eliminate prejudice. The most suitable person can be found for a job, because the applicant’s name, age, religion, background, etc. are not known.
The work of persons with disabilities can be organized in many ways, and their worksite can be adapted to special needs. Simplified instructions and pictures may be helpful when instructing some disabled workers, as well as newcomers with poor knowledge of Finnish.
Teleworking improves equality in many ways. For example, regional equality as well as the balancing of work and family are better when the location of the workplace is not decisive. Of course, working from home is not possible for everybody, but the present state of emergency, due to the corona virus, has demonstrated its benefits in the case of many people.