Government, employers urge 5,000 companies to promote women

Some 5,000 Dutch firms will receive a letter from the cabinet and employers organisation VNO-NCW on Thursday, urging them to make sure they have more women on their management and supervisory boards.

‘We are calling on you to look at where your company is now… and where necessary, take action to realise more diversity at the top,’ the Financieele Dagblad quotes the letter as saying.

The letter follows the publication last week of new research showing the number of women on Dutch management boards is still around 11%, well below the target of 30%.

‘The lack of progress is of major concern,’ the letter states, adding that most companies would appear not to make complying with the law a priority. The VNO-NCW has a register of 1,500 women at sub board levels who are ready to make the next step, the letter points out.

If more progress has not been made by early next year, the government will consider taking ‘strong measures’, the letter continues.

Dutch emancipation minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said last week the lack of progress made by Dutch firms is ‘pitiful’ and that she will not shy away from ‘tough measures’, including the potential introduction of quotas.

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