Women in Tech: Exploring Issues with Diversity in Finland

Your Opinion
Published: 26.10.23

The Finnish technology sector is a thriving success, ranking 7th in the world for innovation according to Forbes. But, despite Finland’s robust education system and international attraction for work and study, gender diversity continues to be an issue in the Finnish tech sector.

Through in-depth research and market insights, we explore the challenges women in technology face, discuss how the talent shortage impacts diversity, and Finland’s recent efforts to improve diversity and inclusion.

The challenges faced by women in technology

As a country, Finland has a notable reputation for gender equality, placing 3rd in the world for equal opportunities. However, women remain underrepresented in the tech industry. According to recent statistics gathered by Women in Tech Finland, only around 20% of the technology workforce are women in Finland. This gender imbalance is not only a matter of social justice but also a hindrance to innovation and growth.

Additionally, a lack of technical education and a scarcity of visible female role models in the tech industry can be a significant barrier, as children and young women struggle to connect with technology. Research finds that very few women choose to learn technical skills past secondary education, falling below the European average. When young women and girls don’t see people who relate to them thriving in tech careers, they may question whether they belong in the field.

Also, pay disparities between men and women in tech roles unfortunately persist in the modern day, even in a country as progressive as Finland, with women earning on average 15.7% less than their male counterparts according to statistics collated in 2021. Stereotypes and biases also play a part in deterring women from pursuing tech careers. The misconception that men have stronger STEM skills, coupled with traditional stereotypes that portray tech roles as masculine, can discourage women from entering the field and hinder their professional advancement. The pay gap, combined with other challenges, can make tech careers less appealing to women.

The talent shortage in the tech industry

Finland, like many other countries, faces a shortage of tech talent. The demand for tech professionals far outstrips the supply, and this shortage is expected to grow in the coming years. Whilst Finland has a strong organic talent pipeline, and is a draw for international workers, the aging population means market newcomers and overseas talent often replace retiring employees, making the talent gap a continual problem for the nation. An ongoing talent shortage, therefore, poses as a significant challenge to the Finnish tech industry, making it imperative to tap into the potential of women who are currently underrepresented in the field.

Read more on How to Overcome Finland’s Talent Shortage

Recent efforts to improve diversification

Education initiatives

Finland has invested in improving technical education for children and women. Initiatives and coding workshops, such as Hive Helsinki, Code School Finland, and Teachease, have been implemented to bridge the gender gap from an early age and improve the technical skills of students and teachers. Finland’s National Digital Literacy Programme, which includes a variety of online or in-person courses, is an easily accessible initiative designed to improve basic technical skills for people of all ages and backgrounds. This approach is essential in nurturing future female tech talent.

Diversity and inclusion programmes

Many tech companies and organisations in Finland are actively working on diversity and inclusion programmes. According to Inklusiiv’s recent market study, 53% of Finnish companies have taken initial steps to improve diversity and inclusion within their organisation, transpiring the increased focus on supporting underrepresented groups in the labour market. These programmes aim to create more welcoming and supportive environments for women, foster mentorship, and reduce bias in recruitment and promotion processes, in an attempt to attract more international talent and help with talent retention.


Networking and support groups, such as Women in Tech Finland, have emerged to connect women in the tech industry, encourage women to fulfil successful careers in tech, provide resources and share stories, as well as promoting opportunities and events. These groups foster a sense of community and solidarity among women in tech.

Awareness campaigns

Raising awareness about the importance of gender diversity and equal opportunities is another significant step. Public and private sectors have partnered to launch campaigns that highlight the success stories of women in technology, aiming to inspire and encourage more women to consider tech careers. Finland is at the forefront of global awareness campaigns, such as the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality, striving for gender equity in technology across the globe.

Finland’s tech industry, like the global tech sector, faces a persistent gender diversity issue. However, the nation is actively working to rectify this imbalance. Efforts to improve diversification in the tech market are crucial, not only for women, but also for the industry as a whole as diverse teams are known to foster innovation, improve decision-making and drive business success – a primary focus of Finland’s technology industry. By addressing the challenges faced by women in technology and implementing strategies to increase diversity, Finland is on the path to a more inclusive and prosperous future for its tech sector.

Further advice and support

We understand the challenges of hiring in the current market, with the ongoing skills gap and changing dynamics, it can be a struggle finding skilled technical talent never mind improving your rate of diverse hirings.

Cathcart Technology Finland has a variety of resources to help diversify your talent pool. For prospecting job seekers, our specialist consultants can also offer advice on how to develop your technical skills or support you in taking your first steps into the technology labour market.

For more information on how we can help, speak to our team of professional recruiters on +358 9 42452477 or visit our website.

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