Gender diversity at Uhana Design

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we celebrate women who challenge the status quo. Meet Mira Vanttaja and Hanna Virkamäki, founders and designers of Uhana Design, a Finnish clothing brand. Uhana Design was founded from the desire to make perfectly fitting, quality clothing that ‘falls on your body effortlessly’. 

Hi Mira Vanttaja and Hanna Virkamäki, thank you for agreeing to do the interview! Can you give us a short explanation of yourself and your work experience? 

Uhana was born out of the wish to create quality garments that both fit and feel perfect in 2012. What started as a collaboration between us designers has grown into a true community and a company that still stands for the values that it was built on: fairness, equality, sustainability, and bold beauty.

Talking about Gender Equality in the workplace, Uhana Design is known for its strong message of empowerment and gender diversity. How do you make sure that it is implemented within your company?

For us, it’s important to make career planning together with the employee, and make sure that everyone has the same possibilities to educate themselves as much as they want to. That’s our way to ensure that every employee can become a true expert in their field. We want to make sure our company policy doesn’t block anyone’s possibilities to grow and develop. Also, as a small company, we don’t want to build structures that could somehow block fulfilling diversity.

Who is(are) your role-model(s) & inspiration(s)? 

There are so many inspiring people in the world. We admire people that have courage to do things in their own way and at the same time they do it by respecting the environment and society. We love people that are brave and vulnerable – gentle but fierce, as we call it. We think the era of the harsh and cold business world is over, it’s time for empathy.

Has the place of women in the TCLF sectors changed over the past 10 years? If yes, how?

At least we hope so. We want to encourage women to start their own companies and go for their dream jobs also in management teams. Here in Finland, there are lots of new small companies coming out every year. When we started our company eight years ago, the future of the TCLF sectors didn’t seem very bright in general, so we are very happy that the situation has changed a bit.

Can you give some advice to youngsters who want to start a career in the TCLF sectors? 

Find the things in this field that motivate you and educate yourself. If you have strong values, list them and find the companies that share most of your core values and try to work for these companies. Read, study and search information from the subjects that interest you and collaborate with the people that inspire you.

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