Nitin Sood photographed at Senate Square.

Helsinki’s quarterly publication shines light on equality and new services

Helsinki-lehti’s September issue takes a closer look at the work of the city’s designated non-discrimination officer and introduces new services with housing advice and help for spouses.

Movements to increase societal inclusion and equality are gaining traction around the world, so it only seemed natural for the latest issue of the city’s quarterly newspaper to dive deeper into Helsinki’s ambitious efforts to increase equality and prevent discrimination.

The third Helsinki-lehti of 2020, which will be delivered this week to every home in the city, features an interview with Nitin Sood, who has worked as the city’s non-discrimination officer for several years. He outlines the many different programmes and services that Helsinki has introduced to improve citizen participation and inclusion, as well as specific municipal campaigns designed to educate residents and employees.

Sood points out, for example, that the City of Helsinki has made it a goal to provide training to each of its 37,000 employees, so they can better recognise their implicit biases. It has also launched an anonymous hiring policy to promote the employment of more diverse staff.

He explains that all of the city’s efforts to promote equality are part of its overarching strategy to be the world’s most functional city.

“We want all Helsinki residents, regardless of their background, to feel as if the city is here for them and they have a place here,” he says.

Helsinki-lehti’s English page highlights news of an official mask recommendation from the national health authority. The recommendation asks residents to use face masks in all situations in which it is difficult to avoid close contact, for example, on public transport.

The page also previews two new services in English. First, a housing information hotline from the one-stop shop for new arrivals to Finland, International House Helsinki. The phone service provides information on different housing options and services in different neighbourhoods.

The second new initiative, the Spouse Program, seeks to help spouses that arrive in the country with their significant others. Participants can choose either a general or career track that will provide them with networking, counselling and mentoring opportunities.

Read this and more in the latest edition of the Helsinki-lehti, a free print publication delivered to every Helsinki home four times a year.

Read more:


Equal Helsinki

HSL instructions for mask use

IHH housing advice line 

Spouse Program

Photo: Roope Permanto/City of Helsinki