Why does DIF exist? Let me give two perspectives, one that is based on the very foundation of the association and another one that is based on a changing Finnish society.
The purpose of DIF is to promote strong, professional and ethically high standard board work primarily in Finnish companies and companies operating in Finland and to develop its members´ professional skills as members of company boards. To achieve this, DIF arranges seminars and training, engages in public debates and discussions, and participates in research and publications related to the board profession. In other words, DIF develops, networks and influences.
DIF has worked on this foundational purpose since its establishment in 2001 in a changing world. Diversity and inclusion, resilience, ESG and so many other areas have been on the agenda as DIF has promoted the board profession and contributed to the development of its members. The number of seminars, luncheons, training sessions, advocacy efforts and publications is countless.
We have also seen a change in the composition of boards in Finland – the number of foreign, non-Finnish speaking, skilled board professionals not domiciled in Finland has increased. Another demography-based change is likely. Our international companies but also our low birth rate have called for more labour immigration of skilled workers which will inevitably, over time, increase the candidate pool of board professionals that are domiciled in Finland but do not speak Finnish. It has already happened and will likely accelerate in the future.
Going forward, DIF will need to address this language and board professional background-based change even more in addition to all the other factors that impact the changing world – DIF plays a key role in ensuring an optimal alignment and benefit gain. In executing its foundational purpose, DIF will need to attract the new generation, provide new insights, consider language aspects and continue to be on a path of continuous improvement for the benefit of its members and the board profession.
I am humbled and grateful for the trust given to me when I take the chair role from Kim Ignatius. On behalf of DIF and all its members, board and office, I thank Kim for the prestigious and relentless work he has done for DIF as chair, but also Heikki Westerlund, who is stepping down from the board.
As we welcome our two new board members, Ritva Sotamaa and Harri Pärssinen, the board of DIF will be strong and committed to leading the DIF strategy for all future needs. The professional and capable office of DIF, with Leena Linnainmaa as Secretary General, Maija Hiiri as Office Manager and Aino-Mari Kiianmies as Communications Specialist, is the cornerstone of our success in meeting the expectations of our members.
DIF. Develop. Network. Influence.
Teksti on Boardview 1/2023 -lehden kirjoitus ”Uudelta puheenjohtajalta”.