Monday 10 August 2020

MPs back female quotas for supervisory boards, VVD votes against

MPs on Tuesday voted to bring in a compulsory quota requiring the supervisory boards of listed companies to ensure at least 30% of their members are women.

The proposal was opposed by the VVD and ChristenUnie coalition parties as well as the anti-immigration PVV and nationalist FvD. The vote should have been taken last week but was delayed by the Socialist Party, who said the measure did not go far enough.

In September, the government’s SER advisory body called for compulsory quotas to make company leadership a fairer reflection of society. The VNO NCW business lobby group has also come out in support of a quota for the first time.

Earlier this year emancipation minister Ingrid van Engelshoven said she aimed to ‘name and shame’ large companies with a lack of women at board level, saying only 13 of the largest 200 met the government target and that their excuses were often ‘pathetic’.


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, which was published in September.

In total, a record 25% of the 29 management board appointments at 88 Dutch listed companies last year were women, index founder Mijntje Luckerath told the NRC.

The 88 companies followed for the index have a total of 213 boardroom functions, and 8.5% of the jobs are now done by women.  In terms of supervisory boards, women now account for nearly 27% of the 455 jobs at listed firms – almost the quota level.

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.