D66 proposes quota for employing females in leadership positions

D66 has proposed a temporary quota for the number of women employed in leadership positions within certain Dutch companies. According to the Female Board Index, this year females represented one in four new directors, yet MP Vera Bergkamp says in the struggle to get more women in top jobs, there is simply “not enough progress.”

Former ministers established the target figure of 30% for leadership positions to be filled by women before 1 January 2020, yet only 6 of 88 companies are projected to achieve this goal. D66 reportedly believes the top of the public sector could even be a target of 40% women. Currently, women in the Netherlands hold just 1 in every 12 board positions, Bergkamp hopes to see this figure rise to 3 in 12.

According to Bergkamp, companies should be allowed two appointment periods – a total of 8 years – to meet the proposed quota; the government would then have the right to cancel the appointments of companies who continue to appoint too many men. Bergkamp hopes after 12 years the proposed quota will no longer be necessary.

The Female Board Index indicates that women bring other forms of diversity to top Dutch companies as they are on average 4-5 years younger than their male counterparts and more often from abroad.

There is currently no majority support from the Tweede Kamer for the proposed quota.

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