20 January, 2017

A womb is not a career breaker at Helka

We have noticed here at Helka that work life can be ruthless towards young women. Temporary employment among young women has increased, and the reason for that is not hard to decipher: employers are afraid of young women who might stay at home for parental leave soon after employment. According to Finnish law the sex or family plans of the applicant should not weigh in on their chances of recruitment. However, the newspaper reports and first-hand experiences among acquaintances have shown us all that employers are hesitant of hiring young women. At the same time the average age of first time mothers keeps rising.

We at Helka promise that a potential addition to the family will not influence our decision of employment. By doing this we are not only following the law, but also our values. If a young woman is the best candidate for the job, having a womb will not prevent us from choosing her. To us a skillful young woman is as important as any other employee. This goes for future fathers as well: we wouldn’t reject a man just because they were planning to stay at home with their child. We at Helka also promise that both mothers and fathers can take their parental leaves in peace.

“We at Helka think that family is more significant than work. It’s okay for work to be important, but dreams and family shouldn’t be ignored because of work. It would be awful if someone here at Helka would postpone their family plans because they feared the reaction of their employer”, says hotel manager Jukka.

Our wish is that young women would be released of these unnecessary burdens regarding family plans. We think there are many options to achieve this; for example, by sharing parental leaves or by following the so called Swedish model of sharing the costs of parenting.

THL has suggested a 6+6+6 model. This model would allow for fathers to participate in their children’s first years in a more equal manner, and it would also take rainbow- and single-parent families better into account. It would also shift more of the responsibility of our children from women-centric work environments to fathers and their work environments.

The costs of parenting could also be divided the Swedish way, between all employers and employees paying income tax. According to Women Entrepreneurs of Finland one child costs 17 000€ to the employer. This cost consists of salaries outside of Kela benefits, costs of labor and the costs of treating a sick child. With the Swedish model these costs would even out to both the mother’s and father’s employers.

The well-being of and equality of our employees is a matter of heart and values at Helka. We think that no woman should be afraid of her womb being a deal breaker while seeking employment, or worse still, of her dream job preventing her from starting a family.

Team Helka