✝︎ Tuulikki Juusela - BPW International President 1985-1989
On May 6th we were all sad to receive the news of the passing of Tuulikki Juusela, aged 81, after a short illness. Tuulikki was the 14th BPW International President serving two terms from 1985 – 1989. At the time of her election, she was the President of BPW Finland and became not only the first International President from Finland but also the youngest elected to that position.
Studying and travelling in a number of countries as a student, Tuulikki had developed a depth of international understanding and communication skills that would take her to key leadership roles. In employment she broke many barriers for women. For example, in Finland, she was the first female Director of the Finnish Council for Health Education. Greatly supportive of all women, she encouraged members to rise to the heights in all fields, urging them with phrases of “Why Not a Woman?” and “Be Positive Women.”
In her term as Chairperson, Employment Conditions Committee/ILO 1983–85, she pointed out that although women had attained equality in law, they still needed to make a comparable improvement in economic life.
I have such lovely memories of this vital and energetic woman, sharing great experiences and particularly remembering the two conferences she chaired as International President. The first was in The Hague in 1987 - “Women – the Vital Force” and then in 1989, in the Bahamas – “Women - the Spirit of Enterprise”. How well those conference titles fitted this active and inspiring woman who demonstrated her strong faith in the International Federation. She was certain that the positivity of its members would make IFBPW an effective voice for the future.
Tuulikki was true to that belief by working tirelessly throughout the rest of her life, not only in Finland, her home country but also across the world to help women get ahead. Always ready and available with mentoring and training programmes, support and advice, she was a great motivator. And there will always be the memory of that twinkle in her smile and her sense of fun.
Tuulikki will be really missed and our thoughts go to Risto, her beloved son.
Sylvia G Perry, BPW International President 1996-1999
Fotos from Eija Åback, BPW Helsinki