Last year the number of nationalities at Fennovoima exceeded 25. One possible reason is the nuclear industry, famous for its globetrotting experts. Another one is tolerance for diversity and strive for improvement rooted in the company culture.
Many cultures – one language
Even though there is only 1% of native English speakers in the company, most meetings, emails and documents are in English.
Ari Maarni, Engineering Manager says: “At my previous jobs, I used to talk mostly in Finnish. Here it's English. Also, the number of different nationalities in Fennovoima surprised me. That's a very positive thing that adds a special quality to work.”
You can hear Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Bulgarian or Arabic talks in coffee rooms. But when you join the conversation, others switch to the language you understand well, which is English.
Your culture is an additional area of expertise
A person may get used to their culture as something natural and even not to notice that it exists. Still, colleagues may be curious to ask you questions about different ways of working, traditions, languages, cultural insights, practical tips and even places to visit in your home country.
More cultures also mean more viewpoints. Kim Stålhandske, Operational Readiness Manager, points out: “I highly appreciate the value of cultural exchange with people of 25 nationalities. You won’t get this diversity in many Finnish companies. Every day it’s possible to see and learn from people with different perspectives and backgrounds.”
Cultural element is especially valuable when dealing with suppliers from different countries. “A team member with an insight into the supplier’s business culture strengthens the discussion and helps avoid misunderstandings,” adds Tiina Partanen, Turbine Island Director.
The main feature you need to work across cultures
Some colleagues are used to hierarchical working cultures. Others come from “high-context” cultures, where you need to read between the lines rather than take words for their direct meaning. It’s possible to cooperate and achieve results together only when you are open-minded and don’t think that your culture is better.
“Fennovoima is an international company with a very strong Finnish flavor. As a foreigner, I feel strong Finnish influence, but it’s an open culture, based on mutual support,” says Simina Lungu, Project Engineer.
Multicultural environment enriches professional life and teaches people to be more open and flexible. At times it may be unusual when you come across something different, but it presents a great chance to learn something new and better understand life and its diversity.