Ataá Agency - Wanda ja Naomi

ATAÁ Agency is a creative agency that focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) founded by twin sisters Naomi and Wanda Holopainen.

 

Naomi and Wanda founded ATAÁ to promote humanity in the business environment to drive diversity efforts, equitable practices and intentional inclusion built on compassion. 

 

ATAÁ means “twins” in Twi (one of the tribal languages of Ghana). This name represents the importance of finding unity and balance in the polarized society.

MISSION

ATAÁ strives to normalize diversity by designing authentic and vulnerable DEI efforts and strategies. The agency helps companies to operate in an ever-changing society as leaders of inclusion and belonging.

VISION

Our vision is to create people-centered cultures that embrace diversity and biodiversity for better solidarity and unity in an era of sustainable development.

How did ATAÁ come to be?

Naomi and Wanda both found themselves facing the same challenges when operating in different industries and working in the HR,marketing, and communications field. There was not enough focus on corporate social responsibility, diversity know-how, inclusion or equity—all of which affect brand identity and company culture. The impact of created content on society was overlooked. In 2018, the duo decided that they could no longer stand behind the values ​​and morals in the Finnish business world. They realized that the issues were much more profound, more extensive and more complex than the two of them could fight on their own

 

Structural racism was and still is so deeply rooted in our society that Naomi and Wanda could not turn their backs on it. Due to their background and heritage, they would return to continuously run into the same challenges without doing what they thought was the right thing to do. No matter how hard it might be, they felt a responsibility to act and the need to get involved. So the duo decided to set up an office focusing entirely on diversity, inclusion, and equity, a mission which had not yet received the attention, the much needed emphasis or the resources at the corporate level required to break down the inequalities present in society. 

 

In an era of sustainable development, companies need to find a balance between the three pillars of responsibility so that the ever-changing business environment can discover new practices and opportunities. ATAÁ represents this stability. Life is full of polarities, between which we need to find a balance.

 
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VALUES

Community & Solidarity 

We grew  up in the countryside in a small community for disabled people; solidarity and community are not just essential values for us personally, we’ve incorporated them  into ATAÁ's operations.

 

For ATAÁ, solidarity means uniting people - not just for personal benefit, but instead to discover the shared path to well-being. 

 

We want to expand the social context in which people consider the relevance ​​of community and solidarity in the business world.

 

In an era of sustainable development, we need community mindedness and shared responsibility for a better future. That’s why we strive to normalise diversity and create people-centred cultures around inlcusion and equity.

 

It’s not about “us” vs “them,” but about all of us together - as equal human beings.

Universalism

Universalism means understanding, valuing, tolerating and protecting the well-being of nature and people.

 

ATAÁs vision of the future is for every human being to have an equal opportunity to reach their potential and for humanity to have both an appreciation and an understanding of the stunning diversity of people and nature.

 

Universalism ties together all of ATAÁ’s intentions and inspires the team to act respectfully towards the ecosystem as a whole. 

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Vulnerability

ATAÁ strives to create cultures and communities centered around vulnerability vulnerability is a prerequisite for connection. In order to create communities in which everyone has the opportunity for a sense of belonging, we need to embrace vulnerability. 

 

Vulnerability also means accepting uncertainty, insecurity, fear and imperfections. At ATAÁ, we believe that vulnerable cultures create a safe space that embraces diversity fosters inclusion and equity, which in turn creates space for open dialogue, feedback and constructive criticism space for each individual to have the opportunity to be themselves, for their voice to be heard and to be seen as their authentic selves.

 

This provides room to grow and for mistakes to be seen as opportunities for development. This is essential to the company's DIE journey and for organizational change.

 
 
 

Curiosity

Curiosity helps us to question the world, defy its structures and institutional practices, and the workings of today’s society that assert  dominance over others and perpetuate inequality. Curious people can better approach situations and problems with an open mind un constrained by prejudice.

 

Societal issues related to diversity, equality and inclusion are very complex and change as societies change. We are aware that we are not perfect and will never be. We are not claiming to know everything or to have answers to everything. There is always room to do better, to develop and grow. This pushes us to be curious and constantly evolve. The heart of ATAÁ’s operations is exploration beyond the comfort zone; we experience the greatest growth and development when challenged. 

 

Our curiosity pushes us to dive deeper than the surface level and to ask questions relentlessly. In our work at ATAÁ, our curiosity supports our responsibility to share our opinions and give feedback openly that allows each organization to discover its potential. Besides, our work with different people and industries is mutually beneficial, as it helps us expand our knowledge too. 

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Naomi Holopainen

Naomi has a solid international business background with expertise in human resources, marketing and communications. She graduated from Montana State University with top honours and as the tennis team captain. Naomi’s work ethic and determination acquired over years as an elite athlete are skills that still serve her professionally.

 

Social psychology, holistic sustainability, nature, people, and art are all very close to Naomi’s heart. Growing up in a small village community and attending the Steiner school have greatly influenced her worldview and values to this day. 

 

Naomi is highly motivated to help and empower others. She believes that even small deeds can delight others and make a lasting impact on someone's life: “I've gained so much from other people. People who have not only believed in me but have also gone out of their way to support me on my journey. I would not be where I am today without the guidance of others. So I feel like it is my time to continue this legacy.”

Wanda Holopainen

Wanda is the CEO of ATAÁ, as she has a reliable and robust ability to perceive large entities and build and develop defined efforts to execute the aspired vision. She has earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and International Business from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, USA. Wanda graduated at the top of her class on the president's list while playing Division 1 tennis. 

 

A strong marketing and communications background with national and international work experience has helped her accumulate a deep understanding of the structural challenges—the challenges we have in forming narratives that reflect the ever-changing world. Wanda's widespread expertise and personality have enabled her to help companies facilitate organizations' cultures of solidarity and community to enhance innovation in social matters. 

 

Wanda has always been a curious soul who loves to meet and interact with people, passion which grants her the innate ability to bring people together. Wanda is especially interested in sustainable development, utopias, human interaction and people's connection to nature, as well as combining art and creativity with societal efforts.