ICT Sector Characterstics in Finland

ICT Sector Characterstics in Finland

Iiris Aaltio (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland) and Pia Heilmann (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch121
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The ICT sector is a newcomer in the Finnish economy. The pace of growth in the Finnish electronics industry was extraordinary over the 1990s. It led to an industrial restructuring in which knowledge replaced capital, raw materials, and energy as the dominant factor in production (Ali-Yrkkö, 2001). The Finnish ICT company Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices, and solutions for imaging, games, media, and business. The net sales of Nokia totaled €29.3 billion in 2004. Nokia provides equipment, solutions, and services for network operators and corporations. The company has 15 manufacturing facilities in nine countries, and research and development in 12 countries. At the end of 2004, Nokia employed approximately 55,500 people. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on four major exchanges (http://www.nokia.com). While Nokia’s role in the Finnish economy is considerable, there is a large number of other actors in the ICT sector: hundreds of small and medium-sized, fast-growing companies networking and cooperating with Nokia. The strong ICT sector is largely the outcome of mutually enforcing, dynamic cluster relations, which were intensified during the 1990s. ICT managers are mainly engaged in developing software. The work is largely connected to projects in which suitable applications are developed for customers’ needs. Applications are usually designed through interaction with customer representatives and software developers (Heilmann, 2004). The customers and the users of ICT in Finland are both women and men, but the majority of the workforce consists of men. At the customer’s side, there are many female ICT professionals. We can have a meeting where there are more women than men, and these women are really capable. This article considers, first, background information about the ICT sector. Then information-technology companies are analyzed as sites for women’s work. Future trends and needs of research are examined next, and finally the conclusion is presented.

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