Riikka Thomson, Manager, Environmental and Social Responsibility
“Finnfund’s environmental and social responsibility team has experts from diverse backgrounds but my personal occupational history is one of a kind in a financial institution. I initially trained as a nurse even though I later continued to work in the occupational health, safety and community field. I lived and worked in different parts of Southern Africa for 23 years.
Thanks to Finnfund’s clear processes and thorough induction programme, I quickly adapted to my new role as an environmental and social adviser. Yet, I learn something new every day. My skills and knowledge from having worked in developing countries contribute to the team, while my colleagues more experienced in the DFI context, offer me advice and guidance in their areas of expertise. Our environmental and social responsibility team is made up of extremely skilled and experienced professionals. My focus as the team manager is to coordinate and provide the best possible working environment and conditions for everyone in the team.
My time in Africa taught me how important job creation is to both individuals and society. Skill training and salary give independence, allows people to improve their living conditions and to educate their children. Time and time again, I witnessed how companies have struggled to find funding to run and grow their projects. Having seen this has been a major motivator for me in my job. To me, Finnfund’s main impact as a development financier is to promote local business’ capacity to make independent decisions to develop their own country and sector, in a sustainable way.
Finnfund is a great workplace and provides us with very good working conditions and support. Every day is different, and each project teaches me something new. We do project-based teamwork, and I am continuously impressed by the competence and performance of my colleagues across various Finnfund teams.