The flurry of female-related stories and statistics around at the moment is, of course, due to March 8 being International Women’s Day. Firstly you have the statistics: do the Dutch believe that men and women are equal? TNS Nipo has the answer: some 87% of men and 82% of women think there is legal equality. But equality in practice?

And indeed, Dutch firms have the lowest percentage of women in top functions in Europe, says Grant Thornton. This could be explained by the fact that 30% of Dutch companies simply don’t want any more women managers (thank you for that, Intomart).
So along comes the health council to point out that women who have children early in their career don’t get taken seriously and end up earning up to 40% less than older mothers.
Yet even if Dutch women are the oldest first-time mothers in Europe, they are not particularly career-minded either. Part-time work is still hugely popular. Is this all to do with glass ceilings and lack of support from employers?
It’s hard to tell with so many figures doing the rounds. But perhaps Dutch women are just too busy having a good time being career free and childless to want to climb to the top of the corporate ladder…? Someone should do a survey about it.

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