The Facebook pages of Hotel Helka take a stand against discrimination based on age and on the rights of sexual minorities. The hotel lobby boasts visible blue “Discriminatino Free Zone” placards. All employees perform all tasks and each hotel department has employees with various and varying backgrounds.
Advancing equality is visible in all work at Hotel Helka throughout all operations. “The initial kick-off for our equality work was in spring 2915 when MP Jani Toivola and our Angolan-born trainee Luyeye Konssi told staff about diversity and their personal experiences related to it. Beginning of 2016 we started the work on a bigger scale and implemented different things amongst all staff. We also decided to be more vocal about this on social media” says Evi Koskinen, the person behind responsibility at the hotel.
According to Koskinen, all hotel staff has participated eagerly on advancing equality and abolishing discrimination. Precisely the staff involvement and the open dialogue and problem solving among all staff has been crucial in the success.
Helka has less than 30 employees, so diversity planning is not mandatory. However, the hotel has made its own “active” equality and diversity plan, which is available on the intranet for all. It consists of different thematic areas, under which the staff can discuss equality and diversity topics and cases. Additionally, the intranet includes a helpful list of tips on how to spot discrimination and unfair conduct.
In addition to staff, all customers have embraced the work on equality and diversity. “They have noticed the Discrimination Free Zone placards and have been positively surprised that we are part of the campaign.” Evi Koskinen assumes that embracing diversity has had a positive effect on the hotel business. “We make sure that our customers feel well and safe and hotel Helka and they never need to worry what we think of them.”