businesswoman writing at her desk
 53 per cent of Finnish companies in the study showed an increase in diversity. Image: Adobe

Finland ranks fourth in Gender Diversity Index 2020

European Women on Boards (EWoB) has placed Finland fourth in its study on gender-balanced governance in listed European companies.

Samuli Ojala


The Gender Diversity Index (GDI) measures the inclusion of women in executive roles and decision-making on a scale of 0 to 1, where a score of 0.8 is considered high. At the country level, Norway, France, the UK, Finland and Sweden performed the best. Finland scored 0.61 to place fourth among the 16 countries analysed, just behind the UK (0.64) but ahead of Sweden (0.61). The study showed a positive correlation with quota legislation and diversity. Finland and Sweden were named the only countries where self-regulation has produced meaningful results.

Out of the 17 Finnish companies studied, private housing investment company Kojamo fared the best, placing 23rd among all European companies with a score of 0.89. Kojamo’s share of female participation was above 40 per cent in all of the study’s categories. Other Finnish companies that scored above 0.7 included Wärtsilä, Orion and Huhtamäki.

“Diversity in management is part of our culture, it supports our productive performance and success,” said Jani Nieminen, CEO at Kojamo. “This recognition means that we have also succeeded in implementing our strategy from a management perspective.”

Päivi Jokinen

“We know that diversity and inclusion are essential – let’s consider this in our daily business lives,” stated Päivi Jokinen. Image: EWoB

In the 668 companies studied, women made up 34 per cent of board members, 28 per cent of general leadership roles and 17 per cent of executive-level decision-makers. The results also showed year-on-year progress among the top-end companies: there are now 138 companies with a score above 0.7 (up by 42 per cent) and 62 with a score above 0.8 (up by 107 per cent). However, the bottom-end of the index showed no change compared to 2019.

“We cannot tackle inequality if we are in denial that it exists,” commented Päivi Jokinen, the chairperson of EWoB. “Our research is clear – there is room for improvement throughout the corporate world and in all European member states.”

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