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.
By accelerating the business environment towards a more dignifying and human-centred culture, Ataá creates space for a diversity of voices to flourish. Allowing authentic and playful new stories to emerge equips organizations to participate in the reimagining of society.
Ataá envisions a business environment where people can reimagine society and celebrate the beauty of humanity and representation outside of binaries. We want to accelerate a liberating culture where everyone can enjoy and experience belonging and reach their potential. We aim to create a sense of community to bring people together towards a common goal of liberation.
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.
Imagination gives us hope. It reminds us that everything is possible. Without the power of imagination, we cannot envision radically different futures for ourselves, our close ones, our work, our team, our institutions, and our society. Pawing a pathway to new futures requires collaboration and creativity. Imagination challenges the way every institution operates, creating room for repairing systems of oppression.
Accountability forces us towards actions of repair. It creates a pathway to address harm within organizations and challenges people to move from nice DEI words to action.
In the business world, where there is a tendency to downplay or ignore the presence of emotion, emotional vulnerability reminds us of the fullness of humanity. It also validates the painful experiences of people that have been marginalized and their experiences of oppression. Exposure makes honest interactions possible. Being aware of and honest about how we feel builds trust and allows for diverse cultural expressions and communication styles.
We are better together! Traditional organizational structures are hierarchical, and questioning oppressive structures and systems can be uncomfortable. However, sharing power equalizes opportunities for influence. It also makes room for new voices and perspectives to shape an organization's culture.
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 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.