Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Republic of Finland/Suomen Tasavalta/ Republiken Finland
(Rural women got suffrage 1863, townswomen got the same right 1873 and universal female suffrage was introduced 1906) Formerly a part of Sweden was a Russian Grand Duchy under the Russian Crown until it became independent 1917

See also Finland Heads and Finland Parliament

1927-28 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Miina Sillanpää
In 1936-47 she was President-by-age of the Riksdag/ Edskunan. She lived (1866-1952).

1945 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Tyyne Leivo-Larsson
1956-57 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health
1958 Vice Premier Minister and Minister without Portfolio
Between 1945-56 Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, 1958-66 Ambassador to Norway and Iceland,1966-70 Parliamentary Leader of the Social Democratic Union. She lived (1902-77).

1948 Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Premier Minister Hertta Kuusinen-Leino
She was Parliamentary Leader of Soumen Kansan Demokrattinen Liito, The People's Democratic League, 1954-64 Chairperson of the Communist Party of Finland (CPF). She was daughter of Otto Kuusinen (1881-   1961) the founder of the CPS in 1918 and President of Karelia in     the USSR 1940-56. She was in exile with him in the USSR 1922, and spend time in prison 1934-39 and 1941-44 in Finland 1944-66. She lived (1904-74).

1953  and 1954  Second Minister of Social Affairs and Health Veino Simonen
1956-57 Second Minister of Agriculture
1959-62 Minister of Social Affairs and Health
She lived (1898-1994).

1953-54 Second Minister of Social Affairs and Health Irma Karvikko
1957 Minister of Social Affairs
She lived (1900-94).

1954-56 and 1957 Minister of Education Kerttu Saalasti
She lived (1907-995).

1957 Minister of Social Affairs Aino Malkamäki
She lived (1895-1961)

1962-63 Minister of Education Armi Laila Hosia
She lived (1909-92).

1962-63 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Kyllikki Pohjala
1963 Minister of Social Affairs
MP 1933-63, Chairperson of the Presidential
Electoral College i 1937, 1940 and 1943, and lived (1894-1979).

1964-66 Second Minister of Agriculture Marja Lahti
She lived (1901-67)

1968-71 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Anna-Liisa Tiekso
She lived (1929-2010).

1970 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Anli Kyllikki Lathinen
1971 Minister of Health and Social Affairs
She lived (1926-76).

1970-71 Second Minister of Education for Culture Meeri Kalavainen
Former Deputy Parliamentary Leader of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats. She lived (1918-2010).

1970-71 and 1979-82 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Katri-Helena Eskelinen
Deputy Parliamentary Leader of Suomen Keskusta/ Centre Party 1966-70. (b. 1925-).

1970 Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Margit Eskman
1971-72 Second Minister of Finance (Taxation)  
She lived (1925-90).

1972-76 Second Minister Education for Culture Helmi Marjatta F. Väänänen
1973 Minister of Nordic Co-operation
1976-77 Minister of Education
1982-83 Minister of Health and Social Affairs
From 1971-86 Deputy Chairperson of the Suomen Keskusta/Centern i Finland, The Center Party. (b. 1923-).

1972 Second Minister of Finance (Taxation) Seija Karkinen
1972-75 Minister of Health of Social Affairs
(b. 1936-).

1975 Minister of Justice Sylvi Inkeri Anttila
Law Professor. She lived (1916-2013)

1975-77 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Irma Toivanen
In 1977-79 Parliamentary Leader of Suomen Keskusta/Centern i Finland. She lived (1922-2010).

1975-76 Second Minister of Health and Social Affairs Pirkko Anikki Työläjärvi
1977-79 Minister of Health and Social Affairs
1977-82 Minister of Nordic Co-operation
1979-81 Second Minister of Finance (Taxation)
1981-82 Minister of Trade and Industry
From 1982-85 Vice-Speaker of the Riksdag/Edskunan, 1982-83 Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, 1985-99 Landshövding-Maraherra (Governor) of Åbo/Turku and Pori Province. (b. 1938- ).

1976-79 Second Minister of Social Affairs for Health Ilmi Orvokki Kangas
She lived (1921-2000).

1979-82 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Sinikka Luja-Penttilä
(b. 1924-).

1982 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Vappu Tuulikki Taipale
1983-85 Second Minister of Health and Social Affairs 
(b.1940-).

1982 Second Minister of Education for Culture Kaarina Elisabeth Suonio
1982-83 Minister of Culture and Science
1983-86 Minister of Education
Governor of Hämeen Lääni/Tavastehus Län 1994-98 (b. 1941-).

1983-87 and 1991-92 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Eeva Kuuskaski   
2010- State Secretary of Health and Social Affairs                           
Formerly known as Kuuskaski-Vikatmää she was for many year a leading member of the Center Party, and considered a front-runner in the Presidential elections. But she resigned in protest of the party's economic policy. The official candidate for the party finished 3rd in the 1994-elections. (b. 1946-).

1984-86 Minister of the Interior Kaisa Raatikainen
Former Social Democrat MP, she lived (1928-2008).

1986-87 Minister of Education Pirjo Ala-Kapee
Since 1997 Landshövding-Maraherra of Östra Finlands Län/Itä-Suomen läänin. (b. 1944-).

1987-91 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Anja Helena Pesola
Since 1990 Director of the Social Insurance Institution.

1987-90 Second Minister of Health and Social Affairs Tarja Kaarina Halonen
1989-91 Minister of Nordic Co-operation
1990-91 Minister of Justice
1995-2000 Minister of Foreign Affairs
1999 Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the European Union (1.7-31.12)
2000-12 President
Member of Parliament 1979-2000, 1984-87 Chairperson of the Social Affairs Committee and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament,  1989-91 Co-leader of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats. Mother of one daughter. In August 2000 she married her partner trough a decade, Pentti Arajärvi. They did not live together before they moved into the Presidential palace. (b. 1943-).

1987-91 Minister of Culture Anna-Liisa Piipari Kasurinen
Member of the Presidium of the Presidential Electorate In 1978 and 198,  Deputy Parliamentary Leader of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats 1986-87. (b. 1940-)

1987-91 Second Minister of Finance (Taxation) Ulla Kaija Puolame
In 1984-87 Parliamentary Leader of Kansallinen Kokoomens/ Samlingspartiet, the Conservative Party. (b. 1931-).

1990-91 Minister of Health and Social Affairs Tuulikki Kariina Hamäläinen
In 1995-99 Chairperson of the Finance Committee and member of the Presidium of the Edusknan/Riksdag.

1990-95 Minister of Defence M. Elisabeth Rehn
1991-95 Minister of Equality
Between 1983-87 Chairperson of the Law-Committee and Member of the Presidium of the Edskunan,1987-90 Parliamentary Leader of Svenska Folkpartiet, the Swedish Peoples party, 1995-97 MEP, 1995-99 Assistant Secretary General of the UN, 1995-98 UN-Commissioner for Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia (UN-rapporteur) 1998-99 UN-Representative and Special Co-ordinator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Personal Representative of Secretary General Koffi Annan responsible for Police and other Operations. Presidential candidate in 1994 and 2000. (b. 1935-).

1991-94 Minister of Justice Hannele Pokka
Deputy Chairperson of Suomen Keskusta/Centern i Finland 1986-94, The Center Party and 1993 Candidate in the party's primary-elections for the Presidential Elections, Since 1995 Landshövding/Maraherra (Governor) of Lapland/Lääpi (Most northern county of the country.) (b. 1952-).

1991-94 Minister of Education Riita Maria Uosukainen
Speaker of the Riksdag/Eduskunta 1994-99 and 1999-2000 and 2. Deputy speaker of the Diet from 30.3- till mid-April 1999 during the coalition negotiations, because the post of President traditionally belongs to the biggest party, her party, the Conservatives being only the second largest. As Parliamentary Speaker she is Deputy Head of State. Presidential Candidate (Finished third in first round) 2000. (b. 1941-).

1991-95 Second Minister of Education for Culture Tytti Maria Isohookana-Asumaa
(b. 1947-).

1991-95 Minister of Environment Sirpa Maria Pietikäinen
Deputy Chairperson of Conservative Party from 1989. (b. 1957-).

1991-95 Second Minister of Environment for Housing Pirjo Maija Rusanen
Deputy Parliamentary Leader of the Kansallinen Kokoomens/ Samlingspartiet, the Conservative Party 1990-01. (b. 1940-)

1994-95 Minister of Justice Anneli Jäätteenmäki
2003 Prime Minister
In 1991-94 and 1999-2000 Deputy Parliamentary Leader and 2000-03 leader of Suomen Keskusta/Centern i Finland, 2003 Speaker of the Eduskunta. Her government had 18 members - 9 male and 9 female, the government formed after her resignation only had 8 women and 10 men.
She was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and nominate for the post of Quaestor and Member of the Presidium, by the liberal group, but a conservative was elected in her place. (b. 1955-).

1995 Second Minister of Environment for Housing Anneli Kariina Taina
1995-99 Minister of Defence
Governor of Södra Finland Län/Etelä-Soumen Lääni from 2004. (b. 1951-).

1995-97 Minister of Transport and Communication Tuula Linnainmaa   
Landshövding-Maraherra of Etelä-Soume Lääni/Södra (South) Finland's Län - a newly established county which is part of a new local administrative structure of the country - since 1997. (b. 1942-).

1995-99 Minister of Social Affairs and Health and Minister in the Ministry of Environment (Housing)
1999-2000 Minister of Labour
2000-03 Minister of Industry and Trade
2003-05 Minister of Social Affairs and Health Sinikka Mönkäre
(b. 1947-).


1995-99 Minister of Labour Liisa Jaakonsaari
Deputy Parliamentary Leader 1987-93 and since 1992 Second Deputy Chairperson of Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue, The Social Democrats,
1999-2003 and again since 2003 Chairperson of the External Affairs Committee and Member of the Presidium. In 2003 she was 1. Vice-speaker and Acting Speaker of the Riksdag. (b. 1946-).

1995-97 Second Minister of Finance (Minister of Taxes), Minister in the Office of the Primer Minister and in the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs Arja Alho
Mayor of Helsingfors/Helsingki 1989-95. (b. 1954-).

1995-99 Second Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Minister of Equality Terttu-Aulikki Huttu-Juntunen
Social Democrat MP 1995-99. (b. 1951-)          

1996-2003 Understate Secretary of Foreign Affairs Kirsti Lintonen
Ambassador to Namibia and Tanzania. In 1990-94, to
South Africa 2003-05 and from 2005 to United Nations.

1998-99 Second Minister of Education and Culture Suvi-Anne Siimes
1999-2003 Second Minister of Finance (Taxes) and Minister responsible for Housing
2002-03 Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of Development Aid
Vice-Chairperson 1995-98 and Chairperson of The Left-Wing Alliance 1998-2006. (b. 1963-).

1999-2002 Minister of Culture Suvi Lindén
2007- Minister of Communications
Deputy Parliamentary Leader of the Kansallinen Kokoomens/Samlingspartiet 1995-99 and 2003-07
and Chairperson of the Cultural Committee and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament 2002-07 and  (b. 1962-).

1999-2002 Minister of Environment and Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Development Aid) Satu Maijastiina Hassi
Vice-Chairperson 1989-91, Parliamentary Leader 1992-93 and 1997, Chairperson of The Greens, Vihreä Liitto 1997-2001. Her party left the coalition government in May 2002 after the parliament decided to build another Nuclear Plant. (b. 1951-).

1999-2003 Minister of Education Maija-Liisa Rask
Deputy Parliamentary Leader of the Soumen Sosialidemokraattinen Pulolue 1995-99 . (b. 1951-).

1999-2003 Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marija Riitta Perho
Vice-Chairperson 1993-95 and Secretary General of the of the Kansallinen Kokoomens/Samlingspartiet. (b. 1948-).

1999-2000 and 2002-03 Second Minister of Social Affairs and Health in charge of Care and Welfare (Basic Services) Eva Biaudet
Vice-Chairperson 1993-95 and Parliamentary Leader of the Svenska Folkepartiet 1995-99. She resigned as minister as part of the coalition-agreement and was succeeded by a male minister of the Greens, who was in office for 2 years.
Candidate in the party primaries for Presidential Candidate in 2005 and candidate in 2012 . (b. 1961-).

2000 Appointed Minister of Labour Virpa Terhikka Puisto (10.-18.2)
She was designated to take over as minister on 25.2, but refrained because of personal reasons. She was 1. Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Social Democrats 1995-2000 and again from 2000. (1946-).

2000-07 Minister of Labour Tarja Filatov
She was 2. Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Social Democrats and was elected 1. Deputy Chairperson when Virpa Puirsto was appointed Minister. Group Chairperson from 2007. (1963-).

2002-03 Minister of Culture Kaarina Dromberg
Chairperson of the Committee of Culture and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament 1999-2002. MP for the Conservative
Kansallinen Kokoomens/Samlingspartiet since (b. 1942-).

2003-07 Second Minister of Finance (Taxation) and Minister of Nordic Cooperation Ulla-Maj Wideroos
Group Secretary of Swedish People's Party 1995-99, Deputy Group Chairperson 1999 and Group Chairperson 1999-2003 and from 2007. Her full name is Cecilia Ulla-Maj Wideroos f. Staffans (b. 1951-)

2003-05 Minister of Transport and Communication Leena Luhtasesta
2005-07 Minister of Justice
Social Democrat MP until 2007, Member of the Presidium and Chairperson of the Economy Committee of the Parliament 1999-2003. (b. 1941-).

2003-05 Minister of Education Tuula Haatainen
2005-07 Minister of Social Affairs and Health
Deputy Group Chairperson of the Social Democrats and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament and Chairperson of the Committee of Social Affairs and Health in 2003. Candidate for the Post of Chairperson of the Social Democrats in 2005. From 2007 Deputy City Director (Vice-Mayor) and Director of Social Affairs of Helsinki and in 2011 candidate in the party's internal primary for choosing a presidential candidate for the 2012-elections. (b. 1960-).

2003-07 Minister of Culture and Ecclesiastical Affairs Tanja Karpela
MP for Centern i Finland since 1999. (b. 1970-).

2003-05 and 2006-07 Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Aid and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Paula Lehtomäki
2007- Minister of Environment
In the Prime Minister's Office she handled matters covered by the Government Secretariat for EU Affairs and the Secretariat for the Finnish EU Presidency, excluding matters related to the European Council, amendments to the Treaties establishing the European Union and appointments related to the European Union that come within the mandate of the Prime Minister's Office. She was on maternity leave from September 2005-March 2006, and gave birth to her second child in 2007. Acted as Foreign Minister in the absence of the office holder in 2006.. (b. 1972-).

2003-07 Minister of Social Care Liisa Hyssälä
2007-10 Minister of Social Affairs and Health and Minister at the Ministry of Labour
Deputy Group Chairperson of the Center Party in 2003. The Jäätteenmäki-government had 9 male and 9 female members, its successor only 8 women and 10 men. (b. 1948-).

2005-07 State Secretary of Social Affairs and Health Leila Kostiainen
The office of politically appointed Secretaries of State to assist the Minister was introduced in 2005.

2005-07 State Secretary of Social Care Terttu Savolainen
2007-11 State Secretary of Social Affairs and Health

2005-06 Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Aid and Minister at the Prime Minister's Office Mari Kiviniemi
2007-10
Minister of Public Administration and Local Government and Minister at the Ministry of the Interior
2010-11 Prime Minister
MP from 1991, Deputy Parliamentary Leader of the Center Party in 2003, Party Vice-Chairperson 2003-08 and Vice-Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs committee 2003-04 when her party passed her over for a ministerial post against all expectations, Political Advisor of the Prime Minister 2004-07 and when she was Minister 2005-06 she stood in during the maternity leave of Paula Lehtommäki. Elected Party Chairperson and took over as Prime Minister. Mother of 2 children. (b. 1968-).

2005-07 Minister of Transport and Communications Susanna Huovinen
Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Group of the Social Democrats
2003-05. (b. 1972-).

2007-11 Minister of the Interior Anne Holmlund
Conservative (
Kokoomuksen, Samlingspartiet) MP from 2002, Deputy Parliamentary Leader in 2007 and member of the Speaker's Conference in the Parliament in 2007. (b. 1964-).

2007-11 Minister of Immigration and European Affairs, Minister at the Prime Minister´s Office, Minister at the Ministry of Justice and Minister at the Ministry of Labour Astrid Thors
Vice-Chairperson of Svenska Folkpartiet 1992-2000, Candidate for the Party Leadership 2002, former Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Parliament from 2004,
Chairperson of Folktinget (Swedish Assembly) from 2005. (b. 1957-).

2007- Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko
2007-11 Minister at the Ministry of the Environment
Vice-Chairperson of Kokoomuksen (Conservatives) since 2004. (b. 1960-).

2007-08 Minister of Education Sari Sarkomaa
Vice-Chairperson of Kokoomuksen (Conservatives) 1999-2004 and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament from 2003. (b. 1965-)

2007-09 Minister of Labour Tarja Cronberg
An independent MP from 2003, she joined the Green party in March, two months before she became
Chairperson of Vihreä Liitto in 2005 a post she held until 2009. Lost her bid for re-election to Parliament in 2007. (b. 1943-).

2007-11 Minister of Justice Tuija Brax
Group Chairperson of Vihreä Liitto 1995 and 1999 and Member of the Presidium of the Parliament 2003-07. (b. 1965-).

2007-11 Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sirkka-Liisa Anttila
Vice-Group Leader of the Center Party 1991-96, Member of the Speaker’s Conference 1991-94 and Member of the Speaker’s Conference of the Parliament, 1. Deputy Speaker 1994-95/6, 1999-2003 and 2003-06, till 1995 vice-chairman of the European Council and 1996-99 Member of the European Parliament. (b. 1943-).

2007-11 Minster of Transport Anu Vehviläinen

2007-09 State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teija Tiilikainen

2007-11 State Secretary of Labour Katariina Poskiparta
Former Secretary General of the Green Party.

2007-11 State Secretary of Education Heljä Misukka

2008-11 Minister of Education Henna Virkkunen
2011- Minister of Administration and Municipal Affairs

Vice-Chairperson of the Central Finland Regional Government 1999-2005 and chair 2005-06, MP from 2007 and Vice-Chairperson of the conservative National Coalition Party, Kansallinen Kokoomus, since 2008. (b. 1972-).

200911- Minister of Labour Anni Sinnemäki
Deputy Group Chairperson of Vihreä Liitto 2000-03, Party Vice-Chair 2003-09 and Party Leader from 2009. Leadership Candidate in 2005. Mother of one daughter. (b. 1974-).

2009-11 State Secretary of Employment and Economy Riina Nevamäki

2010-11 State Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Minna-Mari Kaila

2011- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Jutta Urpilainen
Chairperson of the Social Democrats

2011- Minister of Interior with responsibilty for Church Affairs Päivi Räsänen
Chairperson of the Christian Democrats

2011- Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson
Chairperson of the Folketinget (Swedish Speaker's Assembly) until 2011

2011-13 Minister of Care Maria Guzenina-Richardson

2011- Minister of Housing and Commnunication Pia Viitanen
Social Democrat MP (b. 1967-)

2011- Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen
Former candidate for the leadership of the Left Party

2011- Minister of Development Aid Heidi Hautala
Former Presidential Candidate, Green MP and MEP.

2011- State Secretary of Environment Katariina Poskiparta

2011- State Secretary of Finance Tuire Santamäki-Vuori
Chairperson of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors 2006-11 (b. 1952-)

2011- State Secretary of Administration and Municipal Affairs Anna-Kaisa Ikonen
Former Deputy Mayor of Tammerfors.

2011-13 State Secretary of Care Sinikka Näätsaari

2012- State Secretary of Social Affairs and Health Pia Pohja

2013- Minister of Education Krista Kiuru
Social Democrat MP (b. 1974-).

2013- Minister of Care Susanna Huovinens
Social Democrat MP (1972-)

2013- State Secretary of Care Ulla-Maija Rajakangas

2013- State Secretary of Industry and Trade Marja Rislakki
Deputy Ambassador to the EU 2008-13.

2013- State Secretary of Education Pilvi Torsti

 

Last update 20.02.14