Thursday 18 August 2022


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

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.