The number of women in boardroom jobs at Dutch listed companies did improve last year, but the total is still far below government targets of 30%, according to the latest issue of the Female Board Index.
In total, a record 25% of the 29 appointments at 88 Dutch listed companies last year were women, index founder Mijntje Luckerath told the NRC. They joined football club Ajax, staffing agency Randstad and insurance group ASR among others.
Their appointments take the total number of women at boardroom level from 13 to 18 – two women left their jobs last year. The 88 companies followed for the index have a total of 213 boardroom functions, meaning 8.5% are now female.
‘At first I was pleased with the figures, after three years of decline and the rise is considerable,’ Luckerath, a professor at Tilburg University, said. ‘But if you look at the broader picture, we are now back at the level of 2015.’
In terms of supervisory boards, women now account for nearly 27% of the 455 jobs at listed firms.
In 2013, the Dutch government set a target of 30% on both boards and just six companies have now reached that level: chemicals company DSM, publishing group Wolters Kluwer, Heineken, insurer Intertrust, packing specialist Hydratec and PostNL.
It is also notable how many of the women in top jobs were brought in from abroad – 44%. Under male bosses, just 27% come from outside the Netherlands.
This, Lukerath said, does not necessarily mean Dutch women are not ambitious. ‘Why look for women abroad and not men? You have a much bigger pond to fish in,’ she said. ‘
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