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Digia's diversity tribe is advocating for equality

Digia’s Tribes allow Digians to share information and learn new things according to our cultural principles. Tribes are communities built around the same interest, where the chosen topic is discussed and processed during working hours. One of these communities is the Diversity Tribe, which promotes diversity and equality at Digia.

The Diversity Tribe also promotes the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities at Digia. As part of the tribe’s activities, for example, the LGBTQIA+ community after-work is organized, where Digians can network, get to know each other in a safe environment, and discuss the topic. Digia has been working on diversity themes for many years, and Digia is also a Helsinki Pride partner this year.  

Inclusivity and safety are at the heart of LGBTQIA+ after-work 

Pauliina Raivio and Vesa Hack are two active members of the Diversity Tribe who have been involved in creating and maintaining LGBTQIA+ after-work activities at Digia.

“It felt important to do something concrete and fun to show our practical support for minorities and employees with a positive attitude towards minorities. We want to develop Digia into a workplace where people dare to be casually themselves without fearing being condemned for their minutes,” says Vesa, who works as Head of Design at Digia.

“I started at Digia just over five years ago. It was a time before the Diversity Tribe had been founded. My then partner was of the same sex as me, and I tried hard to scan whether it was safe to express the matter to colleagues,” recalls Pauliina, who works as a Software Developer. “As a junior starting my career, I was afraid that such a detail about myself could harm me professionally. I want to be involved in doing equality work so that in the future at Digia, you wouldn’t have to worry about such things, which are very every day for me,” she continues.

The LGBTQIA+ after-work aims to create a safe and supportive network at the workplace where everyone can feel welcome and valued. “Such an internal workplace network is an important support, as it represents a reliable and safe party to turn to, even with a low threshold, if you encounter inappropriate treatment related to this theme,” Pauliina explains.

On the other hand, Vesa emphasizes the inclusivity and psychological safety of the after-work. “It was clear to us from the start that all Digians are welcome to the after-work, whether they identify as a member of a minority or not,” he says. At the after-work, there is an opportunity to get to know colleagues, share thoughts, and enjoy being together over a drink and a small snack. 

Employer’s support for Pride is important 

Vesa and Pauliina appreciate Digia’s support for minorities and feel that the Pride partnership is a commitment to equal treatment and respect for diversity. “The support of Digia’s management and colleagues for the cause has been important over the years when challenging discussions about diversity have come up. I feel that the Pride partnership is one indication of this commitment of our management and expert community to equal treatment of minorities, the development of an inclusive culture, and respect for diversity,” Vesa says.

It is good to remember that Pride is much more than just a celebration; it is a powerful demonstration and gathering of the community that demands equality and celebrates diversity. “Although nowadays many people perceive Pride mainly as fun, it is by no means the only function of the event,” Pauliina emphasizes. Even after years of marching, there is still a journey ahead.

Vesa emphasizes the historical significance of Pride and its role in demanding basic human rights. “Pride originated at the turn of the 60s and 70s when in New York, mainly transgender people who were fed up with police and community harassment became active in demanding basic human rights,” he says. For Vesa, Pride means pride in oneself and other representatives of minorities and the courage to demand equal rights. “The growth in popularity of Pride and its development into a major event is, of course, significant, as it shows that support for the cause is broad and solid,” he says.

Pauliina says that the “Marching for those who can’t” block of the Pride parade is particularly impressive and evokes emotions in her mind. “I’ve cried in the park for it,” Pauliina admits. 

The building blocks of a safe environment are formed from everyday small acts  

A sense of safety at work is created by everyday small acts that everyone can use to promote an inclusive atmosphere. “You shouldn’t assume anything about people, and everyone should be treated nicely,” Pauliina emphasizes. She also mentions the significance of using Digia’s rainbow key ribbon. Digians have been given rainbow key ribbons and laptop stickers for several years, which staff can use to show visible support for equal and diverse working life and sexual and gender minorities and create a safer space around them. “The rainbow key ribbon may seem like a strange idea if the matter doesn’t directly affect you, but by using it, you can easily express that you dig human rights and consider everyone equal,” Pauliina describes.

Vesa also emphasizes the importance of openness and respect for diversity. “The most important thing is to show that you are open to diversity and speak respectfully of people,” he says. “I would also hope that disrespectful speech would be intervened in more sensitively,” Pauliina adds.

“The equality of another person, being seen, and the right to exist should not be matters of opinion that are equally OK to support or oppose. Treatment and words matter, especially because sexuality and gender are the most meaningful core of humanity,” Vesa reflects. “Most of us have been or are still in a sensitive phase with our growth and experiences. With respectful treatment, we also ensure that young people belonging to sexual and gender minorities get a good start in working life,” he continues.  

Information about the Diversity Tribe 💡

Digia’s Diversity Tribe is a community of Digians interested in diversity themes. It regularly organizes meetings where members can share their personal experiences and ideas. The Tribe’s Teams channel provides a platform for discussion and information sharing. The tribe also publishes blog posts and organizes training and events that support Digia’s diversity and inclusivity goals and equality plan.

The Diversity Tribe is committed to creating an environment where everyone can feel safe and valued. The tribe’s activities can cover topics such as disability, disorders, chronic diseases, language issues and internationality, ethnicities, gender equality and diversity, age issues, and diversity of opinions. The tribe’s rules, such as acceptance, respect, discretion, and freedom of opinion, guide all activities, ensuring that each member can participate in activities openly and safely. The tribe’s activities exemplify how Digia not only talks about diversity but also commits to building and promoting it.  


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