APN podcast: Fighting discrimination and the PM's boomergate

Discrimination rules remain complicated in Finland.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) interviewed at a cafe in Helsinki, featuring the All Points North podcast logo. Image: Berislav Jurišić / Yle

In this week's show APN looks at Prime Minister Sanna Marin's (SDP) spat with 'boomers', a board game racism scandal and allegations of discrimination in hiring practices were all part of the show.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify or Apple Podcasts or on your usual podcast player using the RSS feed.

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After reports that Helsinki University's theology department had specifically asked students with Finnish-sounding names to apply for a job, we asked Finland’s Non-Discrimination Ombudsman, Kristina Stenman, what people can do if they suspect unfair hiring practices.

It's not a simple path to remedy these situations, but Stenman said multiple organisations can help. Trade unions, her office, and the state regional development agency (Finnish acronym Avi) are all able to assist.

There is legislation in the works to change the convoluted process, which currently depends on the Avi taking a case to court. But slow progress is being made, according to Stenman.

"We have employers that are at least piloting anonymous [recruitment], we have employers that are trialling positive discrimination as they try to diversify their staff, so we have all sorts of positive moves. But the movement is too slow," said Stenman.

Nato conundrum

We also report on the podcast about Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's visit to Helsinki earlier this week.

Stoltenberg leaves his post next year but before he does, is visiting Nato members and partners, and few are as close as Finland.

At a joint press conference with President Sauli Niinistö, Stoltenberg lauded the shared values and interoperability of Finland's military and Nato, while Niinistö emphasised the so-called 'Helsinki spirit' stemming from Finland's role as a bridge between east and west.

The country is not a Nato member, however, and Stoltenberg did point out that this means security guarantees do not extend to Finland.

"But of course there is a difference between being a member and not being a member," said Stoltenberg. "And the difference is Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that states that an attack on one ally would be regarded as an attack on all allies. That collective defence clause doesn't apply for Finland."

Join the conversation

This week's show was presented by Egan Richardson and Zena Iovino. The producer was Mark B. Odom and the audio engineer was Laura Koso.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, just contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at yle.news@yle.fi and allpointsnorth@yle.fi.