Meet Sanna Marin, the Millennial Who Has Become the Youngest Prime Minister of Finland

Sanna Marin Prime Minister BELatina
Photo Credit Associated Press (AP)

If we get the numbers right, 2020 marks the moment when the world definitely passes into the hands of the controversial millennial generation. Those of us born between 1980 and 2000 will become half the world’s workforce, especially in the areas of technology, and many expect corporate life and leadership to change forever.

But there’s one woman who’s ahead of these statistics.

Sanna Marin, 34, has been Finland’s prime minister since Tuesday, becoming the youngest woman in the world to hold the seat and the first in her country.

After the scandal over the way former Prime Minister Antti Rinne handled a postal workers’ strike, and at a time of deep political polarization in Finland, this young woman, daughter of a same-sex parental relationship, gives us a glimpse at of what the world will be like in the decade to come.

The young politician has been elected by her party as the new leader of her country, and her cabinet, composed of 19 ministers, has 12 women in office, three of whom are under 35, according to the New York Times.

After her swearing-in, the new prime minister told the media:

“My thoughts have been in the proceedings and I have not followed the international and national media coverage,” she said. “We have promised change. Now we need action. I believe that trust will return through action.”

And her career is a testament to that.

After joining the Social Democratic Youth in 2006, Marin jumped into municipal elections in 2008 without winning but without losing heart.

In 2012 she was elected to Tampere City Council at the age of 27 and served as chairwoman between 2013 and 2017, during which time she was also elected second deputy chairperson of her party.

It was then that the young politician caught the attention not only of the Finnish political establishment but also of the entire world when her heated meetings became viral on YouTube, making the platform a new way of doing politics long before other leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example.

By 2015, Marin had rapidly climbed from City Hall to a parliamentary representative in the Pirkanmaa constituency, and only four years later she became Minister of Transport and Communications.

Echoing the interests and priorities of her generation, Marin can be seen as a left-leaning politician, and the focus of her project is on climate change, equality, and social welfare, as she explained through social networks.

“Finland will not be finished in four years, but it can get better,” she wrote on Twitter. “That’s what we’re working on. I want to build a society where every child can become anything and every person can live and grow in dignity.”

Marin thus joins women like Kelly Peeler, Leah Sibener, and Talia Goldberg in the new generation of young women and leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship, real estate, and health and, now, politics that promise to change forever the world that is now in their hands.