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Wednesday’s papers: Transparent pay, youth homelessness, and the cost of flying

Tech companies encourage salary transparency, more young people in Finland face homelessness, and lifestyle choices for shrinking carbon emissions.

vessan merkki jossa mies ja nainen
Should all salaries be made public? Image: AOP

Following up on Tuesday’s call by Finland's Ombudsman for Gender Equality Jukka Maarianvaara for making workers' salaries transparent, national daily Helsingin Sanomat features a story on tech companies where most employees know each other’s pay.

Digital consulting company Gofore, which employs some 500 people, encourages workers to disclose their earnings on the company’s intranet, which about half of employees do. Software development company Vincit meanwhile told the paper that most of its hires also make their compensation public. The companies said salary transparency has helped prevent office rumours and bridged the gap between people who are comfortable with asking for raises and those who aren’t.

Finland's homeless

Homelessness is rising among under-25s, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet ahead of Thursday’s 'Night of the Homeless' events to be staged around the country by No Fixed Abode, an NGO.

The organisation says teens aging out of foster care often have a difficult time securing a home once they leave the system. In 2017 the number of young homeless adults in Finland grew by 186 over the previous year. Sanna Tiivola, who heads the group, says there’s a misconception that homelessness doesn’t exist in Finland because it’s often out of sight. More than 80 percent of homeless in Finland don’t sleep rough, but spend the night on friends’ and relatives’ sofas. The majority of Finland’s 7,000 homeless live in Helsinki.

Tiivola points out that Finland’s Social Insurance Institution, Kela’s, push to digitise its social security services risks leaving many vulnerable people behind who lack the tools to log on for help.

Flying vegetarians vs grounded omnivores

A return trip between Helsinki and Bangkok pollutes the environment more than eating eight years’ worth of domestic beef, reports agricultural sector newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, citing a study by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), a government agency.

Perttu Virkajärvi, a principal scientist at the institute, said that the point of the study was to show the range of choices available for consumers to minimise their carbon footprint. He underscored that while people are generally aware of the environmental cost of flying, this transportation mode continues to enjoy popular support in society.

Virkajärvi argues that while beef on a global scale taxes the environment greatly, Finland's situation differs as cows here graze on smaller areas of land and mainly consume domestic feed.

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