In order to get more women in top positions within Dutch companies, a mandatory quota must be set for companies from 2020, write the Social and Economic Council (SER) and the Committee on Monitoring Target Management Act and Supervision Act (WBT) on Thursday evening. The business community must also offer more opportunities to people with a non-Western migration background.

The reason for the research is figures from the latest company monitor, which shows that on average one in eight managers of large companies is a woman. For supervisory directors, this percentage is 18.4 percent, where it is hoped for 30 percentage points.

Half of all companies said nothing about the diversity of its employees in its annual report, although this is a legal requirement.

"Make the target a mandatory quota"

The SER advises the government to make the target of 30 percent, which proved fruitless in recent years, a mandatory quota for companies. If a listed company currently does not meet this requirement, a woman must be appointed for the next vacant position.

If someone else is hired, that appointment will be canceled. Such an approach would work well in countries like Germany, according to the SER.

To get more women drivers in the Netherlands a second quota would be necessary. Next year, 20 percent of all drivers should be women, after which the quota will gradually rise to 30 percent in 2025. SER chair Mariëtte Hamer wants to break the "networking" pattern with the quota.

Five thousand largest companies receive 'transparency obligation'

The SER wants to oblige the five thousand largest companies in the Netherlands to draw up plans in which they make clear how they will appoint more women and people with a non-Western migration background for high positions. This 'transparency obligation' must help to achieve the quota.

Chairman Hans de Boer of employers' organization VNO-NCW supports the proposals of the SER. He calls it a "weakness", but believes that a "radical trend break" is needed. According to him, talent should be central and not the cultural origin or gender of a person. The business community previously opposed a mandatory quota.

Earlier this year, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education, Culture and Science) informed Het Financieele Dagblad that she would not shy away from "hard measures" because she wants to make progress this year. Her party (D66) expressed a preference for a "temporary women's quota" a week ago.


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