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The women of Junnikkala


The sawmill industry is usually male-​dominated, which is also reflected in Junnikkala’s staff; of the 205 employees, 24 are women. They work for us in a variety of positions: in human resources, payroll, production operators, forestry experts in wood procurement, operations experts in the organisation of harvesting transport, production supervisors, financial management, logistics experts, export secretaries, communications and production planning.

We would like to wish all women of the world a very happy International Women’s Day with the following three introductions of Junnikkala women.

Niina Saviluoto, Financial Administration Specialist

– I am currently working in Kalajoki as a financial administration specialist and my tasks include handling purchase accounting and sales invoicing. I also assist in payroll accounting and do some general office work, such as answering phones and replying to emails.

Saviluoto will have been with Junnikkala for two years in May. The positive impression of the company that she already had at her job interview has only grown stronger over time; the welcome has been warm and she has found it easy to fit in. According to Saviluoto, the working community is wonderful and the spirit is strong; the work is done seriously but with a relaxed attitude, often with laughter crackling in the corridors.

– There are six women and a dozen men in the office. My previous jobs have been female-​dominated and I’ve had to adopt some new ways of working while working with men — but it’s been a really nice challenge,” Saviluoto says with a laugh.

Tiia Lippo, Shift Supervisor

– I work as a foreman in the piece handling department of the new sawmill in Oulu, which includes fresh sorting, trimming, dry sorting and wrapping. I joined Junnikkala at the beginning of August 2023 and for more than six months now I have had the opportunity to follow the construction phase and the start of operations from the front seat,” Lippo says.

After more than two decades of working for major players in the industry, she feels that Junnikkala is a relaxed and easy-​going place to work. Of course, Lippo has been under pressure and busy — especially now that production is being ramped up – but she has never felt that her efforts were not enough. Lippo also praises the fact that decisions are made quickly because the people in charge are close by. 

– I went to sawmill school in the early 2000s as I wanted to join a male-​dominated industry for higher pay. My friends have always been boys and I’ve done really well with men in the workplace. I feel that my long experience gives me confidence and trust among my colleagues. In my opinion, gender doesn’t matter in these jobs, it’s competence that counts,” says Lippo.

Juulia Tiinanen, Production Operator

– I am a production operator and I work at Kalajoki Sawmill as a sawmill operator, edger, and fresh wood sorter, among other things. I’ve been at Junnikkala for two years now and I’ve really enjoyed it. There is a wide range of jobs on offer and I have been able to choose the ones I like the most. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn new things that interest me – like steelwork, for example.

According to Tiinanen, she has been well received and the working atmosphere at Junnikkala is excellent. Tiinanen is the only female employee on the sawmill side, but she thinks she has blended in really well with the “guys”. This may have been helped somewhat by the male-​dominated nature of her previous workplace.

– I want to encourage women to apply to work at Junnikkala; you can do well here, regardless of gender,” Tiinanen concludes.

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