It’s a grey December morning in Finland. The year’s coming to an end and the days are short and bleak. To someone looking at the weather it seems like the last place that could hold promise. This is not the case. Beyond the admittedly ghastly weather, the small Nordic country is still a place full of laughter, love, and success.
Once again Finland has been ranked high on the IMD ranking, this time taking the sixth spot on the Swiss business school’s annual World Talent Report. The report assessed how 61 countries develop, attract and retain talent under the categories of Investment and Development, Appeal, and Readiness. Although this year the ranking drops two points from last year, Finland has consistently been in the top 10 since 2009.
Finland is also one of the most socially equal countries in the world, as proven once again by a spot in the top three in The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. This index compiles the health, education, economic opportunity and political representation of men and women. This year Finland takes home the bronze, continuing a proud legacy that has lasted since the index was first collated in the Global Gender Gap Report in 2006. According to the index, women in Finland have the best access to education in the world as well as topping the list in the representation of women among professional and technical workers. This gives the accompanying spouses great opportunities to continue their careers or further their education!
For spouses looking to further their education the global rankings of Finnish universities are welcome news. The University of Helsinki ranks in the top 100 universities in the world and the Aalto University continues its climb in the rankings, climbing from 187th placing last year to the 139th.
Finland also offers fantastic opportunities to professionals the world over. Not only is Helsinki a top startup hub in Europe and an exceptional center for innovation, Finns are also phenomenally fluent in English. This makes everyday life much easier than in many other countries and directly contributes to Finland being in the top 10 countries in the world to do business in, according to the World Bank. Despite a challenging macroeconomic environment, Finland has shown continuous improvement for the past five years. The digital infrastructure, mobile market, strong public and private support for companies and an international mindset all come together to create a thriving ecosystem of games, software and digital services, health tech and environmental, and energy technologies and services, amongst many others. It does not come as a surprise then, that the R&D intensity in Finland in 2014 was the highest in Europe, with 3,17% of the GDP used for R&D, compared to the EU average of 2,03% (Eurostat 2015).
Although the end of the year is dark, the northern European country appears to be full of inner light. With such positive news in the midst of winter, we can all transition to a more positive 2016!