Poor old Minister of Economic Affairs, Joop Wijn. Yesterday, he was proud as punch with the results of his survey which showed that employers do not discriminate against people with an ethnic minority background. Today, however, it emerges that nobody agrees with him.

Stephan The, of temporary employment agency Olympia, told newspaper Trouw that employers sometimes specifically asked for a white person. And bureau E-Quality, which focuses on multicultural issues, said other research projects had shown quite the opposite.
Wijn’s survey involved a number of hypothetical job applicants with different characteristics – were they polite, were they neatly dressed? Employers were then asked to rate them as potential employees.
To the outsider, it seems to be about as scientific as a women’s magazine quiz on chosing a holiday: Will you take a) Mohammed with a diploma? b) Kees who was 15 minutes late? or c) Tineke who has a pierced eyebrow? It’s so easy to spot the socially-acceptable answer.
It’s a fat report; crammed with lots of pretty diagrams and charts. But, as researcher Djoerd de Graaf tells the Trouw: ‘Our research is theoretical… practical research is always better’. But then, the minister might not have been so happy.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation