Assessment of equality

It is important that the equality plan is based on information collected by the organisation so that it genuinely meets the needs identified in the organisation for realisation of equality. The drafting of the plan starts with an assessment of the organisation’s operations and operating environment from the perspective of equality. Different discrimination grounds must be taken into account in the assessment (see below). 

The assessment of the baseline may utilise information already available to the organisation, such as personnel surveys and customer feedback – keeping in mind data protection issues. The assessment may also utilise, for example, an existing plan for gender equality.
However, not all issues related to discrimination and inappropriate situations are always sufficiently raised unless they are specifically asked about. Therefore, it is advisable to carry out a separate assessment of equality, asking questions of, for example, personnel, stakeholders and customers on a case-by-case basis. 

Methods suitable for the assessment of equality have been collected on the Assessment of equality page on Finlex.

What is a discrimination ground? 

The Non-Discrimination Act prohibits all discrimination on the basis of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. These personal characteristics are called discrimination grounds. 

What is a population group?

‘Population group’ refers to a group of people sharing similar characteristics, including different discrimination grounds. Examples of population groups include sexual and gender minorities and persons with disabilities. 

When talking about population groups, it is important to keep in mind that individuals are not only representatives of different social groups but they also have several meaningful relationships through which their identity is built and contacts with their environment are established.


Assessment of equality can be based on a number of data collection methods and sources, such as

  • a mapping of how existing strategies and guidelines take into account issues of equality and non-discrimination,
  • statistics and data describing the operating environment and customer base
  • statistics and data on personnel,
  • indicators of the quality of operations and other performance management data,
  • customer feedback,
  • complaints concerning activities,
  • equality surveys aimed at personnel and customers,
  • consultation with various groups,
  • other specific studies, such as accessibility surveys and monitoring of legislative drafting.

Group-specific assessment

The idea of group-specific assessment is to consider whether persons from different backgrounds have equal opportunities to work and make progress in their careers in the organisation or use the services it provides. 

The precondition for carrying out the assessment is that the organisation has sufficient knowledge and competence on issues related to population groups. Awareness can be raised, for example, by training employees and involving equality experts in the assessment. 
It can be easier to get started with the help of the example questions presented in the table. Also pay attention to multiple discrimination.

Subject of assessment  Equality of personnel Equality of operations
Age Are employees of different ages treated equally in the workplace? Are the needs of people of different ages identified in the services?

Origin and nationality
Do jobseekers belonging to ethnic minorities have equal opportunities to be selected for a vacancy?

Have issues such as those related to the equality of Roma people been considered when planning and implementing the measures of the plan?

Language What measures are taken to support the Finnish or Swedish language skills of multilingual employees? Is the organisation’s external communication accessible to different language groups?  
Religion and belief Have the holidays of those representing different religious communities been taken into consideration in the holiday planning of employees? Are the special needs of members of different religions taken into account in the services?
Opinion, political activity and trade union activity Can a person’s opinion, political activity or acting as an elected official affect their equal opportunities to make progress in their career? Are services equal regardless of opinion or political activity?
Family relationships Does the workplace recognise the diversity of family relationships (e.g. LGBTQ+ families)? Does the service recognise the diversity of family relationships (e.g. LGBTQ+ families)?
Health Can the necessary adjustments be made at the workplace so that employees’ health does not become an obstacle to equal opportunities for making progress in the workplace and career?   Which measures are taken to address special issues related to clients’ health?  
Disability Are the shared spaces accessible? Has the accessibility of services been examined from the perspective of different groups of persons with disabilities?
Sexual orientation Can a person belonging to a sexual minority be themselves openly in the workplace? Has the service design paid attention to the equality of members of sexual minorities?