20 March 2019

Utrecht University and NVR advise SER on diversity in the top

© iStockphoto.com/thodonal

There are still far too few women in top positions. The government is considering robust measures and has asked the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands for advice. On 20 March, the SER consulted with stakeholders about the lack of women at the top. The central question is whether the government should introduce a legally enforceable quota.  Stakeholders of the hub Gender and Diversity of Utrecht University and the Dutch Council of Women (NVR) were invited to participate in this consultation. They have drawn up a joint vision (pdf in Dutch) on this subject.

The vision of the hub and the NVR is based on an integrated approach at a social, organisational and individual level.  The authors draw attention to all companies, not just large companies. Attention also needs to be paid to the Dutch context, and a recognition that a legal quota is proven to be effective. "The idea that the target figure  law (streefcijferwet) will lead to compliance by the business community appears to be naive", according to the report.

Without the introduction of a quota, the international reputation of the Netherlands will further deteriorate and the credibility of the government will decrease. It is worrying that the international reputation of the Netherlands as a country that values equality between men and women is increasingly eroded.