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High position for woman in financial field - Embassy of Finland, Athens : Current Affairs


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News, 8/29/2017

High position for woman in financial field

Sirkka Hämäläinen, the first woman elected as the Governor of the Bank of Finland, emphasizes the importance of extensive, high quality common knowledge in working life success.

Photo: European Central Bank
Sirkka Hämäläinen
Sirkka Hämäläinen

Sirkka Hämäläinen (born 1939) has worked as an economist in different positions at the Bank of Finland and was appointed as Governor of the Bank of Finland from 1992 until 1998, amidst the Finnish banking crisis and during deep recession.

In 1998, she moved to Frankfurt to a newly established European Central Bank, as a member of the Executive Board. In her tenure (1998-2003)she was the only woman in the Executive Board, which formulates monetary policy for the euro area. This includes decisions relating to monetary objectives, key interest rates, the supply of reserves in the Eurosystem, and the establishment of guidelines for the implementation of those decisions.

Hämäläinen felt that she needed support from other women so she began network, known as the "ladies’ sauna" where she could exchange views on different topics and broaden her perspectives. That way she could escape from the feeling that her whole life revolved around the economy and her own work.

Ladies after sauna (from left): Sirkka Hämäläinen, Raija-Sinikka Rantala and Helena Hiilivirta.
Ladies after sauna (from left): Sirkka Hämäläinen, Raija-Sinikka Rantala and Helena Hiilivirta.

The sauna program usually consisted of a presentation, socializing and sauna bathing together – as groups of Finnish male colleagues have always done. The "ladies’ sauna" has also directed its resources into international arenas. In the 1990s, the sauna group organized public events abroad, also at the Finnish Institute in Athens.

Hämäläinen has also given lectures on the functioning of the Finnish financial markets and now she is a member of the boards of many corporations.

Read the article Setting the world aright at the “ladies’ sauna”

Coins to celebrate 100 years of Finland´s independence

Photo: Mint of Finland

The collector coin's nominal value is 10€ and it is designed by young ladies Saara Peltomäki,  a 15 year old pupil of Jyväskylä comprehensive school (obverse) and Jennifer Tuomisto, a 16 year old pupil, from Turku comprehensive school (reverse).

Photo: Mint of Finland

The Independent Finland 100 Years coin is minted with Finnish gold and with a nominal value of 100€, and it is designed by designer Simon Örnberg.

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Updated 9/12/2017

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