As many as 79 per cent of all people employed work or have worked with a person with a foreign background. This was indicated in a survey conducted by Aula Research for the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) that identified employees’ attitudes towards multicultural working life and colleagues with foreign backgrounds.
“The survey showed that 80 per cent of all respondents consider working with a colleague with a foreign background a positive experience, while only six per cent consider it negative. These are surprising results, as multicultural working life is often only talked about in public while highlighting conflicts,” says Taina Vallander, director at STTK.
Then again, people are more reserved and frightened when it comes to strengthening multiculturalism in their workplace and in Finland in general. Vallander says that negative attitudes towards increasing multiculturalism in working communities is often explained by the lack of a common language, as this is considered to directly affect working.
Men under 35 years of age have the most experience in working with colleagues with foreign backgrounds (89%). They were also more willing than the other groups of respondents to increase multiculturalism in their working communities (56%). The most positive experiences in colleagues with foreign backgrounds were in the regions of Northern Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and North Savonia.
Based on the survey results, people with foreign backgrounds – people born outside Finland and who do not speak Finnish or Swedish as their native language – mostly work in industry, education, hospitality, and social services and healthcare.
Half of all respondents ready to increase labour migration
STTK also asked the respondents’ attitudes towards labour migration. The Finnish Government has set the goal to increase it by 50,000 people by 2030. STTK is in favour of this goal.
“Half of all respondents thought that labour migration should be increased. People under 35 years of age have more positive attitudes than other age groups.”
Of all respondents, 85 per cent consider access to working life the best way to integrate immigrants.
Further information at STTK: Taina Vallander, tel. +358 40 184 1464
STTK’s survey on multiculturalism and attitudes towards foreign co-workers in working life was responded to by 2,007 employees of at least 18 years of age from across Finland. The sample represents employees based on age, gender and region. The survey was conducted by Aula Research between 11 and 28 April 2022. STTK will publish the survey results in two parts. The second part will be published during week 23 (starting on 6 June).