What Yle leaves out when it tells us why labor discrimination exists in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri


If there is one matter that shines brightly from the editorial standards of Yle, it is its whiteness and how little regard they have for our people to voice the concerns of our ever-growing culturally diverse community.

OK, true, there was a lot written this week about job discrimination and how having a foreign-sounding name may not land you a job interview.

We need more of these types of articles and studies and much more activism on top of them.

Take for instance, the Yle article on five reasons why there is discrimination in the Finnish labor market.

The Yle article points out five of them:

  • (1) Discrimination in the labor market has broad support among Finns;
  • (2) employers are ignorant of labor discrimination laws;
  • (3) employers believe they will lose money if they follow the law;
  • (4) discrimination at the workplace is difficult to prove;
  • (5) victims are reluctant to report to the authorities because they fear reprisals.

All of the latter are valid points, but I would have wanted Yle to dig deeper. This is a valid point because of the level of discrimination is so prevalent.

There are other culprits as well as lack of leadership and resolve from politicians, the police, media, policymakers, and a long list of others who shape public opinion.

Moreover, if discrimination is so widely accepted, it means that our education system has failed.

I have lived in Finland on a semi-permanent basis since 1978. One of the first matters that I learned when I moved here was that my “foreign name,” despite having a Finnish mother, was a disadvantage even when trying to rent an apartment.

Racism is real and an ogre in Finland, and it is impoverishing Finland socially and economically. We need studies and articles but more than ever, action and leadership in tackling such social ills and call out and bring to account those who spread them.

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