The business world has also changed since Friday. Employers and employees recommend a women's quota for top positions. Which key moments in emancipation have brought us here? And how far do we actually get?
1956: Yes, we come from far. Until June 14, 1956, women were fired in government service on the day of their marriage. They had to get permission from their husbands to open a bank account, buy clothes or equipment or be allowed to travel alone. Only the daily groceries did not require written authorization from a spouse.
With the abolition of the Disability Act, women became full persons for the law. Four months later, another milestone was reached: Marga Klompé was appointed as the first female Dutch minister.
1974: The Emancipation Committee must eliminate the backlog of women in society. For the first time, the government is actively getting involved in women's emancipation.
2003: Norway is the first country in the world to announce a binding quota to shatter the glass ceiling in business (6 percent of drivers were women). "That was a shock. In the Netherlands, for the first time, people were thinking: what is the situation here? Should we do this too," says Claartje Vinkenburg, affiliated researcher at Atria, a knowledge center for emancipation and women's history. "If you compare us now with Norway, we will be 35 years behind." The share of women in the top in Norway is now more than 40 percent.
2013: The fact that we are lagging a bit behind in the Netherlands was first recognized by the introduction of a legal target: 30 percent of the top of the company should be women. But the emphasis is on 'aim' and no sanctions will follow if it fails. A study by Atria this year shows that it has done very little. A scant 13 of the 200 companies investigated meet them.
At the bottom of the list, with exactly zero women on the board, are Dura Vermeer and VolkerWessels. To stay ahead of the reactions, Atria made the top women's bingo, with sixteen often recurring excuses. Such as: "We select the best candidates for the role", "This sector is dominated by men, so it is difficult to find suitable female candidates", and "The targets are very high for this sector". After all, Norway has long proven that it is possible.
March 2019: It is now "one of the most embarrassing files on my desk," said Emancipation Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven this spring about the lack of women at the top of Dutch business. She referred to the boardrooms that are still largely filled with men. Only 18.4 percent are women in the supervisory boards, only 12.4 percent are women in executive boards. Time and again, women's emancipation appears to be slower than expected.
September 2019: The advice of the Social and Economic Council (SER) can change that. The Board wants a women's quota of 30 percent to be introduced for supervisory boards. "I am glad that the word quota has officially fallen. The fact that employers now support it is really a huge shift," says Vinkenborg. And much needed, if it is up to her: "The waste of female talent and the overrepresentation of men in the top - and in particular Jan, Piet and Klaas - is problematic."
Vinkenburg: "Companies are sometimes only interested in diversity if it has been demonstrated that it delivers something. There must always be a business case. But with this theme you also have to just believe in equal opportunities." For those who are too far-fetched, there is now fortunately an external argument.