Power and decision-making

In terms of numeric representations of women and men, gender equality has been enhanced over the past few decades, particularly in elected political decision-making bodies and in those administrative bodies governed by the quota provision in the Equality Act. On the other hand, for example, men continue to fill most senior corporate management positions. The subject of gender diversity in decision-making has been studied very little so far.

Elections, political participation and gender

Women and men in Finland have had the same opportunities for political participation since 1906. Women vote more actively than men in all elections. 

In the most recent parliamentary election in 2023, 72,9 percent of women and 71 percent of men voted. 

Studies show that balanced nomination of candidates has a positive impact on the gender distribution of elected officials. The proportion of female candidates has been lower than that of men in all elections. With some exceptions, women are also elected less often than men. Finland utilises the open-list election system, and no statutory gender quotas have been set for the nomination of candidates.

Gender and political leadership positions

In the 2023 parliamentary election, the proportion of women elected was 46 percent. The proportion of women in parliamentary groups varies by party. The Left Alliance has the highest number of women (81%) and, with the exception of single-member parliamentary groups, the Swedish group has the lowest number (30%).
The current Parliament 


At least 40 percent of the government ministers have been women and men from the early 1990s until 2015. The proportion of women in the Sipilä Government was 35 percent. The 19 ministers in the Orpo Government include 12 women (63%) and 7 men (37%).
The current Government’s composition 

Women accounted for 40 percent and men for 60 percent of the representatives elected in the 2021 municipal elections. Women and men respectively account for

  • 39% and 61% of chairpersons of municipal councils
  • 31% and 69% of chairpersons of municipal boards 
  • 21% and 79% of municipal managers.

Women fill 57 percent and men 43 percent of Finland’s European Member of Parliament positions. Finland’s EU Commissioner is a woman – Jutta Urpilainen – for the first time. This marked the sixth time a commissioner from Finland was selected. 

In presidential elections, women have been regularly nominated since the 1994 election. Finland has had 11 male presidents and 1 female president (Tarja Halonen 2000–2012).
Former Presidents of Finland

Gender equality in corporate management


On average, women hold 33 percent of the positions on boards of directors of Finnish public limited companies in 2023. Women accounted for 11 percent of the chairpersons of boards of directors while seven percent of CEOs were women. 

In 2022, the European Parliament adopted the directive aimed at promoting the balanced representation of women and men in the management of large listed companies. From July 2026, 40 per cent of board positions in companies or one-third of all director positions shall go to the under-represented gender.

In Finland, an exceptionally large number of people with a technology degree hold managerial positions in public limited companies. This may contribute to preventing women from advancing to corporate management, because women in Finland have less technology degrees than men.

In the senior management of state owned companies, women held 47 percent of the positions in boards of directors, 26 percent of chairperson positions and 22 percent of CEO positions in 2022. Since 2004, the Government of Finland has set numerical targets for women’s and men’s representation on the boards of directors of state-owned companies.