Siirry sisältöön
Julkaisuvuosi: 2021

Equality Plan (2021 – 2023)

1   Introduction

Equality and non-discrimination are being realised slowly, even though work for them is being done on many fronts. According to the European Union’s latest equality barometer, we will reach gender equality in about 60 years. Even though Finland is considered, especially in regards to legislation, to be a model country of equality, many surveys show that we still have a lot of work to do.

Our work and study environments continue becoming more diverse, culturally richer and more international. This means adopting new operating methods and models, but also fear and resistance. Every person must participate in the equality and non-discrimination work in their work community. Therefore, we should consider how we can do our own part to promote the achievement of the equality and non-discrimination objectives. We invite every member of our community to take part in this work. There are 11,000 students and 700 employees in our university community, which makes the student perspective stand out more.

1.1 Parties responsible for the plan

The equality and non-discrimination plan has been drawn up by a working group that includes student, employer and employee representation, such as occupational safety and health officers. A multifaceted approach has been ensured through broad representation.

In the Haaga-Helia university community, the implementation of the plan is monitored in co-operation forums:

For personnel, the plan is the responsibility of the Personnel and Culture group / Human Resources Director. From the autumn of 2021, the goals and measures of the equality plan will be a recurring theme in the meetings of the Occupational Safety and Health Committee four times a year.

For students, the Responsibility and Security group / Administrative Director is responsible for the plan. The student welfare group meets three times a year and monitors the progress of goals and measures.

For the entire university community, the Administrative Director periodically convenes an extensive co-operation meeting, which is represented by the Vice-Rectors responsible for teaching and research, a representative of the student union Helga, staff representatives / occupational health and safety representatives and a representative of the Student Welfare Group. If necessary, other experts will also be invited to the working group.

According to research, many students and personnel members do not know that educational institutions must have equality and non-discrimination plans. We can take making this plan known to every student and employee as the first step towards more equal and non-discriminatory Haaga-Helia. The continuity of equality and non-discrimination work is ensured by updating the plans regularly. Updating refers to assessing the successfulness of the previous period’s measures, comprehensively investigating the equality and non-discrimination situation and setting new targets and measures based on them. This plan remains valid until the end of 2023. The drafting of a new plan will be started well in advance before the previous period ends.

This plan is constructed so that the things required by equality and non-discrimination progress evenly in relation to both operations and personnel policy. Haaga-Helia’s equality and non-discrimination plan is based on a jointly drafted strategy and values which create the foundation for equality and non-discrimination work within our organisation. Chapter two contains the summarised framework of equality and non-discrimination work: legislative basis, strategy, and values.

Chapter three is an overview of the previous plan period’s objectives, measures, reports and research, based on which the objectives and measures of the coming period have been drafted. The chapter is divided into subchapters that examine studying, supervising and student well-being (chapter 3.1), diversity as a resource (chapter 3.2) and promotion of accessibility (chapter 3.3). It also contains a section (chapter 3.4) focusing on the personnel policy-related issues of equality and non-discrimination. In addition, the measures for the operating period have been compiled in a separate appendix. Chapter four presents the processes, operations models and resources used to promote equality and non-discrimination at Haaga-Helia. Chapter five contains instructions related to equality and non- discrimination work. The instructions are as lists of links.

The Haaga-Helia Management Group approved the Haaga-Helia Equality and Diversity Plan 2021-2023
at its meeting on 21 May 2021.

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences Ltd

2 Equality and non-discrimination work at Haaga-Helia

Haaga-Helia trains experts whose actions can help fulfill the equality and non-discrimination obligations, both national and those set internationally. Equality and non-discrimination work and its development are an essential part of our everyday actions. The objective of the equality and non-discrimination plan and work is to secure our educational institution’s diversity, non-discriminatory nature and equality, and to introduce the processes and bodies with which the possible flaws can be corrected. The objective of Haaga-Helia’s equality and non-discrimination plan is also to highlight the previous period’s successes and challenges and next period’s development targets with which we will ensure the influence of our actions in equality and non-discrimination work. The plan concerns us all, both students and personnel.

This plan has been drafted in cooperation with students and personnel to support and promote our objective of realising equality and non- discrimination in our study and work community.

2.1 Strategy and values

Strategy progress – Mutual reformation

Haaga-Helia’s strategy for 2021–2025 has been drafted in cooperation with students, personnel, alumni and cooperation partners in several different events and on different kinds of forums. The strategy’s key objective is to ensure an organisation that will endure the test of time and support the targets of education reform, to enable excellent student and employee experiences, and to strengthen the organisation’s functionality and communal and result-oriented culture. Achievement of the objectives is supported by the student and work communities. Working together was the backbone of the strategy work.

In connection to the strategy work, we updated our values which are based on our previous value system and ethical principles. Values are our joint commitment to the way we act in relation to our stakeholders and within our work community. Courage, responsibility, working together, openness, and respect are our values.

Courage: We have the courage to experiment when actively searching for new opportunities and ways to develop our operations. It requires curiosity, continuous learning and regeneration. We are even ready to try the crazier ideas. Mistakes support learning. We dare to give up on things that no longer work.

Responsibility: We look after the students, ourselves, each other and our entire higher education community. We take responsibility for the economy, environment and society. We commit to objectives and that which is jointly agreed. We treat everyone fairly and equally.

Working together: We achieve the objectives of our higher education community together. We help each other succeed. We participate and engage. We share our skills and achieve more together.

Openness: We operate openly and transparently. We listen to different points of view and learn from others. We examine even the more difficult matters openly and constructively. We commit to the promotion of the principles and practices of open science.

Respect: Our operations are established on respect for each other and mutually agreed practices. It can be heard in our speech and seen in our actions. We remain professional in all situations. We operate so that all feel themselves to be equal members of our higher education community.

Of the laws and decrees aimed at the promotion of equality and non-discrimination we present the most central ones. According to Section 6 of the Constitution (731/1999), no one shall, “without an acceptable reason, be treated differently from other persons on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health, disability or other reason that concerns his or her person.” Gender equality is promoted in public operations and working life, especially when deciding on wages and other service relationship conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002) obligates every employer to take measures if within the work community there is harassment or other inappropriate behaviour targeted at an employee. The Criminal Code of Finland (39/1889) contains provisions concerning discrimination and work discrimination. Paragraphs 26 and 31 of the Universities of Applied Sciences Act (932/2014) and the Act on the Provision of Digital Services (306/2019) rule on the accessibility and safety of studies.

The Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986) obligates to monitor and promote the equality of personnel and education in educational institutions. The purpose of the Non-Discrimination Act (1325/2004) is to prevent discrimination and draft clear instructions for ensuring the legal protection of the target of discrimination. Educational institutions and higher education institutions must draft an equality and non-discrimination plan together with the personnel, students and occupational health and safety.

The obligations of the Non-Discrimination Act can be divided into a fourfold table, as presented in figure 1.

Figure 1. Obligations of national legislation for equality and non-discrimination planning in educational institutions

2.3. Objectives of equality and non-discrimination work on general level

The purpose of the act on equality between men and women, also known as the Equality Act, is to prevent gender-based discrimination, promote equality between genders and improve women’s position, especially in the working life. The Equality Act prohibits gender-based discrimination, such as discrimination related to pregnancy, giving birth, parenthood, obligation to care for one’s family, gender identity or gender expression. Gender identity refers to a person’s own experience of their gender; gender expression refers to expressing one’s gender in the way the person dresses or behaves or in some other similar way.

The Equality Act obligates the employer to promote gender equality in a result-oriented and planned manner. The employer must, while taking into account the resources available and other matters affecting the matter,

  • operate so that both men and women would apply for vacancies
  • promote even gender distribution in different duties and career advancement
  • promote gender equality in employment conditions, especially in regards to salaries
  • develop working conditions so that they are suitable for everyone
  • enable combining working and family life by paying special attention to work arrangements
  • operate so that gender-based discrimination is prevented.

A higher education institute must ensure that all genders have the same opportunities in education and career advancement and that teaching, research and teaching materials support the realisation of gender equality. This means, among other things, that student selection must be based on individual, not gender- related factors. The education must also aim to dismantle ways of thinking, practices and norms that lead to stereotypical choices. Teaching materials must also be developed so that they do not reinforce formulaic prejudices and gender ideas.

The Non-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on age, origin, nationality, language, religion, conviction, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, health, disability, sexual orientation or other reason related to the person, and it rules on the promotion of non-discrimination. Discrimination in prohibited, independent of whether it is based on a fact or assumption concerning the individual or other person. In addition to direct and indirect discrimination, the discrimination referred to in the Non-Discrimination Act also means harassment, denial of reasonable adjustments and instruction or order to discriminate.

According to the Non-Discrimination Act, the employer must assess the successfulness of non- discrimination at the workplace and promote work conditions and measures that are to be followed when recruiting personnel and making decisions concerning the personnel.

When assessing the successfulness of non-discrimination, a higher education institution must pay attention to students’ feedback, teaching materials, measures preventing harassment and bullying, equality of teaching situations, study performance evaluations and teaching personnel’s non- discrimination competence.

When several factors are deemed to simultaneously affect a person’s identity and position in social structures, the term ‘intersectionality’, i.e. intersecting inequality, is used. According to the intersectional approach, one factor, such as gender, age or ethnic background, cannot be examined separately from others. Therefore, promotion of equality and non-discrimination also requires examining the meaning of different factors in relation to one another. (Institute for Health and Welfare, equality glossary).

3 Equal and non-discriminative Haaga-Helia

In this chapter we present and assess the successfulness of the objectives and measures of the previous plan period 2019–2020 and explain the methods with which the current state of equality and non- discrimination in Haaga-Helia has been examined and charted. The chapter contains the objectives and central measures for promoting equality and non-discrimination in the operation period 2021–2023, which were stated and agreed on together with students and personnel.

The following statistics, reports and surveys have been used as the basis for the situation assessment: information about students’ well-being, accessibility and studying has been collected with, among others, student, equality and non-discrimination surveys, the Toteemi project’s student survey, student union Helga’s accessibility survey, SAMOK and Helga’s remote studying survey, and by interviewing the institution’s psychologist, psychiatric nurse and higher education institution priest and key representatives of the student union Helga. Additionally, the surveys and statistics of Haaga-Helia’s Quality Portal have been examined.

For the personnel, the report uses personnel surveys, equality indicators, ability to work surveys and personnel’s key indicators as its basis.

In order to chart and decide on the coming plan period’s objectives and their achievement, the planning team for the equality and non-discrimination plan met a total of eight times. In addition to that, there was in March 2021 a workshop which was attended by Haaga-Helia personnel, teachers, administration and support services personnel, managers, representatives of occupational health and safety and representatives of the student body.

3.1 Studying, supervision and well-being at studies

Based on paragraph 6 of the Non-Discrimination Act, the body organising the education is obligated to promote non-discrimination. In this chapter we examine how well equality and non-discrimination at Haaga-Helia has developed from the viewpoint of entrance exams, studying and learning environment, evaluation, supervision and student well-being. More about the entrance exam accessibility is in chapter 3.3 Accessibility.

Flexible learning paths and teaching methods provide students with equal opportunities to advance their studies, independent of the student’s current circumstances. Haaga-Helia aims to ensure an accessible and safe learning environment for each student. A comprehensive teaching reformation is underway in Haaga-Helia and it aims to provide students with as flexible as possible study paths and freedom of choice. Flexibility in studies was the key objective of the previous operational period.

OBJECTIVE FOR 2019–2020:

The objective of the operational period 2019–2020 was to develop the flexible learning environment which provides students of all ages with learning opportunities and experiences.

According to the student survey of autumn 2020, the diversity and comprehensiveness of education were clearly Haaga-Helia’s strengths, which means that we have succeeded quite well in achieving our objective.


Students have been provided with plenty of study options and freedom to make their own choices and built personal career paths. Different kinds of students have been taken into account by developing flexible and digital learning environments and learning paths in many different ways, such as by expanding the online studies.

Students have been able to utilise the study selection of the 3AMK union (Haaga-Helia, Laurea, Metropolia), which has increased the flexibility of studies. For many years, Haaga-Helia has also been profiled as a developer of the Work & Study model and it has provided new opportunities to combine studies, work and personal life. However, the change in pedagogical working culture is slow. Therefore, the personnel has been regularly familiarised with the pedagogy of the Work & Study model. The Covid-19 pandemic has also hastened the development of digital pedagogy. The multimodal studies Haaga-Helia offers have also provided many students with work obligations and children with the opportunity to study in a balanced manner. The operations of the Open University of Applied Sciences have been developed significantly.

A new supervision operations model has been developed to promote the flexibility and personal nature of study and career paths at Haaga-Helia. The model has been built as a communal project of the teaching and counselling personnel, and representatives of the student union Helga have also participated in the work. A senior academic advisor has been recruited to coordinate the supervision. There are three vocational special needs teachers to support different kinds of students.

Haaga-Helia has a clear operations model if a student feels they have been discriminated against or treated in an inequal manner in their studies. The instructions are available on Mynet, which is for Haaga- Helia students.


Based on the student reports, more attention should be paid to the interactions between teachers and students. According to the results, students feel that in some situations, the interaction remains surface- level. In relation to evaluation, experiences of unfairness were related to group projects in particular. Making and presenting group projects is scary, especially according to students who have performance anxiety, and students feel that the presentations might affect the evaluation of group projects. Another experience of unfairness is related to the inequal distribution of group project duties, which means that a student can get a poor grade if another student in the same group does not do their share of the work.

The student surveys revealed that the team spirit of the initial group is very important for how well the studies progress. According to female information technology students, they have in some situations found it difficult to integrate into their student community and they have felt like outsiders. The students wanted more peer support, such as mentoring related to the studies, support for unemployed students to find employment and integrate into the student community, more accessible tutor support even after the orientation week.


OBJECTIVE 1: Increasing the interaction between teachers and students so that the student feels they have truly been heard when they want to discuss matters related to teaching, studying or evaluation.

MEASURE: The orientation of new teachers pays attention to the significance of interaction. Interactive elements will be added to online teaching materials. The round table meetings between education management and students will be continued. More agile forms of interaction between students and teachers will be promoted.

OBJECTIVE 2: Group work types and evaluation related to them will be developed so that the participation and responsibility of the group members are taken into account better than before. Attention will be paid to students who have performance anxiety.

MEASURE: Cooperation with student organisations to find out how the evaluation methods for group project could be developed and how the transparency of evaluation could be improved.

OBJECTIVE 3: Development of anonymous evaluation.

MEASURE: Anonymous evaluation will be tried out in some modules.

OBJECTIVE 4: Female IT students’ integration into the industry’s studies and student organisations will be developed.

MEASURE: Gender-conscious pedagogy and supervision will be developed. Gender-conscious pedagogy focuses on acknowledging and dismantling gendered practices by organising trainings realised by the NAU project. Female students’ experiences will be examined more closely.

OBJECTIVE 5: Students’ equal career paths will be promoted by developing the Work & Study model and students’ and personnel’s awareness of the promotion of equality and non-discrimination will be improved.

MEASURE: The Work & Study model will be developed in cooperation with students and working life representatives in the NAU project so that the reformed model will be in use in autumn 2022. In autumn 2021 and spring 2022, personnel will be trained in equality and non-discrimination so that each training is attended by at least 50 people. In autumn 2021, there will be a webinar concerning equality and non- discrimination and the field’s leading experts will be invited to speak in the webinar. The goal is to have the entire personnel watch the webinar.

Student well-being

At Haaga-Helia, the purpose of the work promoting student well-being is to support the health, studying ability and participation of students and create a learning environment that is safe for everyone. Well- being is promoted with both individual and communal support. Figure 3 presents the dimensions of factors affecting the ability to study: studying skills, personal resources, teaching and studying community, for which all the student well-being service system aims to respond (Kunttu 2009).

Figure 3 Dimensions of student well-being (Kunttu 2009)

The act on the student healthcare for higher education students entered into force on 1 January 2021. Its purpose is to ensure the student healthcare services of higher education students nationally and improve the quality and availability of the services. In practice the law reformation means that at the beginning of 2021, students at universities of applied sciences became customers of the Finnish Student Health Services. Additionally, the students in our higher education institution can visit the student psychologist, psychiatric nurse and educational institute priest. Haaga-Helia also has a student well-being team which plans and coordinates services supporting students’ well-being.

OBJECTIVES 2019–2020:

In the student well-being team and occupational health and safety committee, we continuously monitor the situation and believe in the equal rights of men and women.

MEASURES 2019–2020:

Haaga-Helia has a well-being team which meets thrice a year. The well-being team’s key methods include maintenance of the student well-being network, acting as a multi-professional discussion forum, and preparation of matters related to student well-being and participation in their processing, for example, preparation and processing of the substance abuse programme. The multi-professional well-being team includes the student psychologist, psychiatric nurse, vocational special needs teachers, representatives of student healthcare and educational institution priest.


OBJECTIVE 1: Alleviating students’ mental health issues, loneliness and experiences of stress.

MEASURE 1: Haaga-Helia is participating in two projects, HALI and VOIMA, in which the aim is to develop different kinds of tools and methods for improving student well-being in cooperation with students and personnel. Students will be given peer support for their studies, guidance to promote student well-being, financial advice and support for emotional control.

MEASURE 2: Updating the substance abuse programme for students.

3.2 Diversity as a resource

Diversity means that we are different in regards to our cultural background and identity. Diversity is an advantage and resource and nurturing it is ethically necessary. Diversity relates to respecting human value, mutual respect, tolerance and basic freedom and human rights.

Haaga-Helia is committed to promoting communal culture in its strategy, and responsibility, openness and respecting others in its values. However, in the higher education institution’s operational culture there might be unofficial or contradicting norms and methods which are difficult to recognise. Unacknowledged prejudices might lead to discrimination unless special attention is paid to recognising them. If an individual has to hide their identity, they might feel like an outsider and their potential will remain unrealised. At Haaga-Helia, we want to operate norm-critically and make sure that the diversity of all community members is recognised and seen as a strength. We want to promote freedom of thinking, information and expression while also respecting the principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Through our actions we promote the interaction and mutual respect between people coming from different cultures. The objective of Unesco’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) is the maintaining of diversity as a regenerating and changing resource for the humankind and prevention of segregation and extremist movement. At Haaga-Helia, we commit to promoting cultural awareness and combatting racism.

OBJECTIVES 2019–2020

Haaga-Helia strives to promote and ensure equal rights for everyone in their studies and work. We provide an international and multicultural studying environment for citizens of about a hundred countries. In the well-being team and occupational health and safety committee, we monitor that there is no sexual harassment and no discrimination based on sexual orientation.

MEASURES 2019–2020

We organise events in which we promote awareness and understanding of different cultures. However, this does not mean that in future religion and/or belief can unreasonably affect Haaga-Helia’s operations as a work and study community. Haaga-Helia’s objective is to promote a multicultural atmosphere which provides an encouraging and productive work environment for all students and personnel. We ensure that the most important information is translated into English for the students. Haaga-Helia organises training that supports the culture competence of students and personnel.

The student union Helga has appointed harassment contact persons people may contact in harassment situations. Additionally, the Expert Help channel has been opened, which provides students with a confidential way of approaching the student body personnel in such cases as harassment. For Haaga- Helia personnel, the process for reporting harassment is as follows: supervisors and supervisor’s supervisor if it is a matter relating to a supervisor, health and safety representative and committee members, employee representative if it is a collective agreement matter, head of occupational health and safety.


In autumn 2020, Haaga-Helia carried out an equality and non-discrimination survey, according to which there is some harassment: 2.5% of the respondents in two different reports said that they had experienced harassment. Since the respondent numbers were not very high, the results can only be seen as indicative.

Of the respondents, 21 per cent had personally experienced inappropriate treatment within the higher education community and 24 per cent of the respondents has noticed that others had been treated inappropriately. The most typical experiences related to disparagement (24%), prejudices (20%), exclusion (16%), inequal treatment or discrimination (15%) and name-calling (7%). In addition, the free-form answers mentioned chauvinist jokes and joking at the target’s expense. Based on the estimates, the target’s opinion (16%), age (12%), other factor related to the person (10%), origin (9%) or gender (9%) explained the inappropriate treatment. In the free-form answers, the inappropriate treatment was often connected to the student’s young or old age, gender or personal characteristics.


OBJECTIVE 1: Development of safe spaces and an atmosphere where people are unafraid to discuss issues.

MEASURE: Haaga-Helia is still developing its norms of conduct so that the themes of equality and non- discrimination are present both consciously and consistently in the orientation of personnel and students.

OBJECTIVE 2: Zero tolerance for harassment.

MEASURE: 1: Haaga-Helia will train and appoint a harassment contact person (separately for students and personnel), in accordance with the recommendations in the Ministry of Education and Culture’s measure programme for preventing bullying, violence and harassment in early education, school and educational institutions. Additionally, we will create a simple process for reporting harassment and inappropriate treatment so that a report can be filed anonymously. The process will ensure that no one is left to solve harassment situations by themselves. Helga’s harassment contact persons’ work will be discussed in the orientation events.

MEASURE 2: A model supporting teachers’ pedagogical actions will be created for harassment situations.

3.3 Promotion of accessibility

Accessibility is a multidimensional term. Accessibility in higher education institutions refers to how well the higher education institution facilities, electronic systems, learning environments, teaching methods and attitude atmosphere enable the participation and non-discrimination of students who are in different circumstances and have diverse characteristics. Therefore, accessibility is more than just physical accessibility. In an accessible higher education institution, every student and personnel member can feel like they belong. In this way, accessibility benefits the well-being of every member of the community. (Accessibility criteria, 1)

Accessibility refers to, for example, accessible properties and passageways, usability of services or how non-discrimination is realised in learning situations, but it also refers to how digital services have been comprehensively organised so that as many people as possible can use them without adjustments or special arrangements.

The Ministry of Education and Culture’s leading project on counselling, well-being and participation for 2017–2019 has drafted the accessibility criteria which higher education institutions can utilise in their equality and non-discrimination work and when assessing their state of accessibility. The criteria have been sorted into eight categories: 1) Values, attitudes, working culture, 2) Teaching and learning, 3) Digital accessibility, 4) Communications and 5) Student selection. The criteria created by the project help higher education institutions critically assess the fairness, quality and accessibility of student selection, learning, studying and support and counselling services, and to take the necessary measures to promote accessibility.

OBJECTIVE 2019–2020

We utilise IT equipment better than before to, for example, support visually impaired people. When new buildings are being built or old ones are being repaired, we take disabled people’s needs into account.

MEASURES IN 2019–2020

In the 2019–2020 operational period, Haaga-Helia improved the accessibility of its educational institutions in relation to movement, seeing, hearing, understanding and communications. The aim for the buildings was to ensure accessibility for persons with reduced mobility by implementing automatically opening doors, ramps, and in Pasila, lifts are equipped with buttons that are placed lower and have markings in Braille.

The new information screens serve weak-sighted people better than the old ones. The new screens have brighter colours and more precise images. For work use, people with weak sight can be given a computer screen that is larger than normal (24” -> 27”). Naturally, the online services which have been realised according to the accessibility requirements are more suitable for people with weak sight. Helpdesk helps when a computer needs to be adjusted to be more accessible. If a person needs a so-called speech synthesizer and screen reader, Windows-NVDA is compatible with Haaga-Helia’s equipment. The IT Helpdesk also helps in their deployment.

In 2020, Haaga-Helia held seven accessibility trainings for the personnel. The objective of the trainings was to improve the accessibility of documents, teaching materials and digital services.

A separate space for special needs students has been reserved for Haaga-Helia’s entrance exams. The students have also been given more time to answer the exam questions.


OBJECTIVE 1: Taking into account the students requiring special support must be formulated so that the reasonable adjustments have been taken into account. Students are aware of available services.

MEASURE: The objective’s starting point is complete and has been taken into account in operations. New measures are defined in cooperation with the actors whose work they relate to (such as, vocational special needs teachers and student counsellors).

Personnel and students are informed of the services comprehensively. Personnel must also be informed on how to direct a student to the services and how to make the related process visible.

OBJECTIVE 2: Making the entrance doors in Pasila campus easier to open and improving the accessibility of other public spaces.

MEASURE: Haaga-Helia will, together with the property owners and campus managers, negotiate the schedules for the possible measures. The properties we operate in are mainly rental facilities -> we will contact the property owners and ask them to fix the issues we want to change. We will also take into account the protected buildings in the Vierumäki campus.

OBJECTIVE 3: Assessing the successfulness of accessibility.

MEASURE: In the 2020–2023 operations period, an accessibility assessment will be implemented at Haaga-Helia in accordance with the counselling, well-being and participation criteria.

OBJECTIVE 4: Personnel’s and students’ awareness of accessibility will be improved.

MEASURE: In 2021, there will be nine accessibility trainings for the personnel. The trainings for 2022 will be agreed separately. Communications about accessibility will be improved.

3.4 Equality, non-discrimination and well-being at work

Equality work in educational institutions also includes the equal treatment of employees. An equality plan may be either personnel policy-related or operations-related. The previous chapters of this plan mainly discussed an operations-related equality plan that has been supplemented with the viewpoints of a non-discrimination plan. Usually, a personnel policy-related equality plan examines the applying process, division of labour between genders, career advancement, working conditions. Personnel training, participation in committee work, opportunity to combine work and family (such as use of family leave and work arrangements supporting it), working atmosphere, prevalence of sexual or gender-based harassment, and attitudes, management and occupational health and safety related to equality.

According to the Finnish Institution of Occupational Health, well-being at work refers to safe, healthy and productive work done by professionals and which work communities produce in well-managed organisations. Members of a healthy work community feel that their work is meaningful and rewarding and it supports their life management.

Every other year, we implement a personnel survey investigating the requirements for a successful strategy. From the results of the autumn 2018 personnel survey we have recognised some strengths Haaga-Helia has: future which is expected to be bright, personnel’s excitement and competence, in which we will invest in future.

OBJECTIVE FOR 2019–2020:

Our mutual target for development was change management and dialogue related to change. As measures of the 2019–2020 period, we commit to develop leadership and our practices while nurturing diversity and taking it into account.


Our community’s comprehensive participation was especially visible in our strategy process and the workshops of the Education Reform project, which was started in 2019. This has been realised so that in 2019, we started the leadership and supervisor support programme Uudistamo, which was designed together with supervisors, to support dialogical change management and realisation of our strategy. Uudistamo was implemented as workshops, trainings, online platforms, supervisor breakfasts, 2019–2020 peer group mentoring and 2020–2021 group coaching.

The themes of the Uudistamo programme have been visible to the entire personnel as communal strategy work and team discussions about the future of leadership. Ability to change has been supported with a seminar series on energy and well-being.

Personnel planning and recruiting

Personnel planning and personnel expertise development are part of the annual operations and finances planning. Transparency of recruitment has been made more clear for the 2019–2020 period with approval authorisation concerning personnel matters which supplements the regulations. Recruitment is controlled by a simulated equal recruitment process. The new organisation model was implemented in early 2021. The model’s goal is the main processes – learning and guidance, research and development, and societal and international influence – and integrating operations, in which the focus is on competence. In the reformed process-based organisation, our objective is to increase the personnel’s co-direction and bring decision making closer to the operators.

At the start of the employment and as the employment continues, the person’s salary and salary development is defined by Haaga-Helia’s shared guidelines and overall salary structure. The HR director is responsible for the logicalness, balance and fairness of the salary structure. The balance of the salary structure grouping and realisation of salary equality are regularly assessed internally and, at times, using an outside comparison. We will also monitor the distribution of men and women by group. The salary equality report will be discussed in the cooperation committee.

In spring 2021, we will draft a strategic personnel and expertise development plan, which will cover the entire 2021–2025 strategy period and with which we will examine the strategic development needs of personnel and expertise for the entire strategy period. On annual level, a personnel plan will still be drafted as part of the operations and finances plan and it will cover, among other things, the structure and number of the personnel and an estimate of their change by sphere of responsibility.

We will lead, direct and measure personnel planning and competence development in a strategy-based manner and with the following guidelines:

  • Responsible personnel planning and moderate recruitment
  • Objective-oriented management and development of competence
  • Performance/success management that directs and encourages towards results
  • Anticipatory management of ability to work and support of well-being at work


OBJECTIVE 1: The following personnel survey will be implemented in autumn 2021. Personnel research will be developed with an emphasis on equality and non-discrimination.

MEASURE: Questions with which the development of equality and non-discrimination can be monitored will be connected to personnel research.

OBJECTIVE 2: The transparency of the equality indicators will be increased.

MEASURE: In addition to the cooperation advisory committee, the entire personnel will be informed of the equality indicators regularly.

OBJECTIVE 3: Change management and dialogue related to change will continue. The results of the personnel survey 2021 define the strength and development target to be selected.

MEASURE: Organisation supporting the strategy and education reform especially in these joint change processes.

Result-encouraging management of performance and success

Haaga-Helia has annual performance and development discussions. The discussions utilise the personnel system Sympa. The discussion is the right and obligation of every member of the Haaga- Helia community. HR monitors, reports and compiles statistics on Sympa entries. Monitoring the personnel’s competence development is part of the discussion. The development of personnel expertise is based on the objectives written in the strategy and operations plan and the joint course selection is based on them. The internal course selection is published on the intranet training calendar which is updated year-round.

All members of the Haaga-Helia community have the equal opportunity and responsibility to develop their competence which is necessary for their successful performance in their tasks and objectives, now and in the future. The employer decides on participation in the trainings case-specifically.

At Haaga-Helia, the methods of expertise development are utilised diversely: We use the 70-20-10 model which depicts that the majority of expertise development happens by learning on the job, some through feedback and relationships and networks and only a part through trainings.

Anticipatory management of ability to work and support of well-being at work

At Haaga-Helia, the maintenance of ability to work and promotion of workplace safety and healthiness are tied in an anticipatory way to all of our operations and the well-being of our higher education community is the foundation of our strategy.

Due to the organisation’s age structure and as part of the management of ability to work, we pay special attention to the work arrangements of older personnel and sharing their expertise. Of personnel age groups, the majority are those aged 50–59 (38%) and those over the age of 60 form the second-largest share (17%). The average age of the personnel is 49 years. In 2020, 22 persons retired and the average retirement age was 64. The age distribution of personnel is presented in table 1.


The following have been set as objectives for the 2019–2020 period: We strive to provide the aging personnel with the option of job alteration leave and part-time work.

In order to lengthen careers and transfer expertise, work arrangements can be agreed on flexibly and personnel may simultaneously utilise the partial early retirement arrangement. Aging persons’ ability to keep working is promoted with measures such as comprehensive occupational healthcare services, work ergonomics visits and by supporting physical well-being with exercise benefits.

In occupational healthcare’s age group examinations, we use an electronic occupational healthcare survey with which we enhance the occupational healthcare’s preventative and needs-based operation and which directs the employees to the right treatment paths. In 2020, we implemented a video and chat appointment service for occupational healthcare, which enables contacting occupational healthcare easily, quickly and remotely.

We also take equality and non-discrimination into account in flexible working hours arrangements by supporting combining both working life and private/family life. Employer and employees can together agree on different kinds of working hours arrangements, in accordance with the employee’s needs and options created by the work position. The goal is to use these to promote combining work and private life in different circumstances.

Employer and employees can together agree on different kinds of part-time work arrangements, in accordance with the employee’s needs and options created by the work position (September 2020: 71 teachers, annual working time less than 1,600 hours a week and correspondingly for administration and support services personnel 29 persons, weekly working time is less than 100%). Job alteration leave is controlled by law and when the statutory criteria for job alteration leave are met (such as, work history, full-time work, age and retirement), one can apply for job alteration leave and the appropriate time can be negotiated with the supervisor.

Haaga-Helia offers the following forms of support for balancing work and private life and for flexible work time arrangements:

  • The flexitime model and remote work model for administration and support service personnel: in 2020, the model was developed to be more flexible.
  • Flexible family leave arrangements
  • Work arrangements that make job alteration and study leave possible
  • Flexible teaching planning for summertime teaching, for example

Promotion of personnel’s well-being at work

MEASURES IN 2018–2020
We implemented digital solutions to support well-being at work during the unusual times caused by the Covid19 pandemic. With the Academy of Brain online learning platform, which received positive feedback from its users, we promoted individual well-being at work, independent of time and place. With the Cuckoo workplace workout application.

We supported personnel’s community spirit during remote work with an online platform on which we shared tips for work and free time.

We also promoted our well-being at work with the exercise and culture benefit Edenred, lectures on energy and well-being in everyday life, and by allocating recreational funds for communal use.

We enhanced supervisors’ preparedness for management of ability to work and remote work as part of the Uudistamo training programme and we used surveys to gauge the state of well-being at remote work. At the start of 2020, we offered occupational healthcare’s remote appointment services which enabled the use of video appointments and chat.

Additionally, we made coronavirus testing available for personnel immediately when it became available through occupational healthcare. We also expanded our statutory accident insurance to cover remote work in order to protect our personnel’s ability to work.


OBJECTIVE 1: Healthiness and safe and ergonomic working conditions at work will be ensured.

MEASURE: Surveys of the workplace, which will be implemented regularly, will be carried out in every location during the planning period. As representatives of the personnel, labour protection delegates will participate in the survey.

OBJECTIVE 2: We will continue the practices that support well-being at work, in accordance with the results of surveys carried out in the pandemic period.

MEASURE: In future, we will also provide the personnel, in relation to the theme of well-being, an online learning platform, exercise and culture benefit, workplace workout application, internal tips to support well-being at work, discussion platform and themes trainings in well-being at work.

Haaga-Helia personnel distribution in Personnel groups by Gender – September 2020

The gender distribution of employees generally corresponds to the distribution of the industry. There are also more women in the front staff and management at Haaga-Helia. The distribution of personnel by group is assessed annually as part of more extensive reporting and is presented to the Co-operation Advisory Board. The material is available in the intranet, where you can also find a broader overview of the gender distribution with different personnel indicators.

4 Continuity of equality and non-discrimination work

In future, the administration director and HR director will be responsible for updating the equality and non-discrimination plan so that at regular intervals, they call together a group that examines the implementation of the ongoing year’s measures and sets the objectives and measures for the next period. To the group will be invited vice presidents responsible for teaching and research operations, representative of the student union Helga, personnel representatives, health and safety representatives and representative from the student well-being team. If necessary, other experts can also be invited to the group. Additionally, the legislation, regulations and instructions of the European Union and Finland which promote equality and non-discrimination will be monitored.

The realisation of the plan will be monitored with multiple methods, such as surveys organised by Haaga- Helia and student union Helga, statistics and by interviewing students and personnel.

5.1. Haaga-Helia instructions

5.2. Other sources related to equality and non-discrimination

Equality Act, educational institutions, gender diversity:

Equality Act, workplaces and gender diversity:

Website of the Ombudsman for Equality:

Finnish National Agency for Education/Equality and non-discrimination planning in educational institutions: fi/koulutus-ja-tutkinnot/tasa-arvo-ja-yhdenvertaisuussuunnittelu-oppilaitoksissa#1dd87198

Haaga-Helia’s current equality and non-discrimination plan on the quality portal: pakki/toiminnan-ohjaus

Results of Haaga-Helia’s student surveys on the quality portal: opiskelijatulokset

The Equal and non-discriminative Haaga-Helia page on Mynet: yhdenvertaisuus-haaga-heliassa

The Haaga-Helia’ well-being services on Mynet:

The  Haaga-Helia’s  vocational  special  needs  teachers  on  Mynet:

The Objectives and principles of Haaga-Helia’s student counselling on Mynet: opinto-ohjaus

The Occupational health and safety page on intranet: Ty%C3%B6suojelu.aspx [the equality and non-discrimination plan is also available here]

The Personnel survey page on intranet: henkilostotutkimus/Sivut/default.aspx

The Accessibility instructions page on Haaga-Helia intranet: default.aspx

Library/LibGuides/Erilaisen   oppijan   opas:

The Rehabilitation Foundation/Opas sujuvaan opiskeluun: OPAS.pdf

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