Gender Equality Plan

Gender Equality Plan for Demos Helsinki

Fall 2022


Demos Helsinki (comprising the non-profit association Demos ry that owns the limited liability company Demos Helsinki oy and the non-profit company Demos Research Institute) is committed to enhancing gender equality. Demos Helsinki engages yearly in a process of collecting data on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) related matters, analyses and discusses the matters with the entirety of staff and plans actions based on the data and the organisation-wide discussion.


We are strongly committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion – and gender equality as a part of this – within our organization and the wider research and partner ecosystem we are a part of. The annual cycle of DEI assessment and planning of actions aims to continuously develop structures and targeted measures to bring to light, discuss together and improve diversity, equity and inclusion and to assess these matters in all processes within our organization and within the context of the work with our partners. This annual DEI cycle also informs the gender equality plan, made in accordance with the requirements of the Finnish Act on Equality between Women and Men (in Finnish: Laki naisten ja miesten välisestä tasa-arvosta 609/1986). This plan is made and updated with both employer and staff representatives and records systemic measures for advancing equality. Both the annual cycle of DEI work and the Gender Equality Plan listed below are strongly supported by top leadership, who are also accountable for their implementation and monitoring.


Dedicated resources


Demos Helsinki has a designated responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion in the operative leadership of the organization. In addition, DEI matters from a part of the umbrella of duties covered by the employee representative and are discussed regularly in employer and employee representative meetings, board meetings and on the whole organization level during the annual DEI process cycle.


Data Collection and monitoring


Data on diversity, equality and inclusion as well as employee wellbeing, health and safety are collected on a regular basis at Demos Helsinki. The annual DEI survey is sent to all employees and long term contractors. This data is analyzed and the findings and needed actions discussed with all staff and long term contractors. In addition, Demos Helsinki also conducts weekly “pulse” among employees. This three-tiered overall sentiment survey provides important information for the continuous assessment of employee wellbeing, with anonymous open comments enabling more nuanced interpretation.


Data is also collected continuously on gender related aspects. This includes e.g. the percentage share of men and women in Demos Helsinki and in individual teams; the percentage share of men and women in different personnel and salary groups; the percentage of international personnel and statistics on equal pay between genders. This data is openly available to all employees, all the while respecting EU GDPR rules.


In addition to these systematized data collection practices, Demos Helsinki has also taken several measures to ensure the low threshold of bringing forth questions and concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion. These include, for example, a monthly open time slot for DEI related matters and questions hosted by the operative leadership; and anonymous contact forms to both the employee representative and the chair of the board.




Training needs for leadership, those with supervisory responsibilities, for certain organizational processes and common training for all of the Demos Helsinki staff is assessed annually as a part of the diversity, equity and inclusion process. These training needs are validated with the entire staff. Additionally, further training needs are assessed ad hoc by the leadership team during the year, if needs should be identified outside the regular cycle. Recent training has included an organization-wide session on unconscious biases and training for those heavily involved in recruitment processes. The needs for the year 2023 will be determined in the fall 2022 and validated with all employees in a joint session.


Gender balance in leadership and decision-making 


Demos Helsinki strives towards diversity also within leadership and different decision-making bodies of the organization. This refers to operational leadership, the board of directors of Demos Helsinki as well as the diversity of team leaders. Gender is one aspect of this diversity. We believe that diversity, including diversity of gender in leadership roles, is necessary in order for us as an organization to broaden our perspectives on how to create impact in the world.


As of 9/2022, 45% of the leadership roles at Demos Helsinki were held by women. The board of directors consistes of 50% women and 50% men.


Measures against gender-based violence, including sexual harassment


Demos Helsinki does not tolerate any form of harassment. As an employer, we also have a legal obligation to address discrimination at the workplace. In order to prevent harassment, lower the threshold for reporting any harassment and discrimination and facilitate intervention, Demos Helsinki has created several guidelines, processes and policies. These include anonymous forms to both the employee representative and one directly to the chair of the board of directors (these can be used to draw attention to all forms of harassment and discrimination, also on the part of leadership); a monthly low-threshold on call time to a member of the operative leadership; and a guideline for all employees, including interns, on what to do in case of being the target or witness of harassment and discrimination. Diversity, equity and inclusion matters, including responding to harassment and discrimination will also form a part of an upcoming mandatory training set for team leaders. All of these measures, guidelines and policies are a part of the on-boarding procedure of all staff.


The leadership of Demos Helsinki is fully committed to promoting gender equality within our organization and the wider research and partner ecosystem we are a part of. We endorse the presented Gender Equality Plan above and state that Demos Helsinki has the dedicated resources to further implement and monitor the measures listed.


Juha Leppänen
Chief Executive