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Diversity is a resource for Mariehamn Airport staff

Article published
7.5.2024 at 09:45
Signy Aarna Maarianhaminan lentoasemalta
People & Aviation
The Finavia employees at Mariehamn Airport operate in a work community where different backgrounds and skills not only meet but also create value for everyone involved.

Tanja Sabel, Finavia’s Airport Manager for Mariehamn Airport, is pleased with how diversity and equality have become a central part of the airport community’s culture.

Taking diversity into account is the key to better service, deeper customer insight and richer expertise,” she says.

Sabel emphasises the importance of kindness and appreciation in encountering diversity, whether it has to do with humour or with everyday interactions.

As a work community, our goal is to create an atmosphere where everyone can be themselves. This also applies to situations where people are joking, for example. Humour is good for coping and job enjoyment, but you also need to consider what kinds of things are okay to joke about. As a supervisor, my job is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves and no one has to be on their toes.”

Encountering diversity with respect builds a stronger community

About 30 people of different nationalities and backgrounds work at Mariehamn Airport. Half of them are Finavia employees. The age range is 20–55 years, and every department employs both men and women. One of them is Signy Aarna, who works in the maintenance team.

“When I started, I was truly a novice. I didn’t have any actual experience in the work and didn’t speak Swedish very well. Working in maintenance was a whole new world for me, and I was the only woman on the team. However, I am very fit and I meet the criteria for Finavia’s fire and rescue tasks,” she says.

I have felt welcome since day one. My colleagues have guided me in various things. The fact that I’m a woman has not been a problem. We all do the same tasks and drive the same large vehicles. I think we have an incredibly good team, and that’s one of the main reasons I like my job so much.”

The experience of Aarna, who moved to Åland from Estonia, shows how diversity can support growth and learning. She feels like a valued part of the team, and sees Mariehamn Airport as a good example of a work community where diversity is a resource.

For us, every day is an opportunity to learn from each other, to approach differences with respect and to build a stronger community together,” Sabel and Aarna say.

Learn more about Finavia as a workplace

Finavia employees who enjoy their work ensure a smooth airport experience

Combining work and family life is supported at Finavia

How Finavia promotes equality at the workplace