More women on company boards; still not enough

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The proportion of women sitting on company boards in the Netherlands has increased by 1.5 percent compared to 2013, but remains dramatically short of the government's 30-percent target. At the current rate, it will take 14 years for corporate boards to consist of at least 30 percent women, a milestone the Dutch government wants to reach by 2016.

Minister for Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker has expressed displeasure at the slow progress stating that “the figures will only change if companies stick their necks out,” she told Z24.nl. However Bussemaker remains opposed to the introduction of a government-mandated quota system saying “that would be overkill.”

The minister has stated that companies are wasting opportunities by not appointing women. "We know that women are better educated nowadays. Universities and colleges have more female students," she told Nieuws.nl.

The rise was contrasted against a corporate environment where only 5.3 percent of companies have a female chief executive officer. Women on the boards of directors rose to 8.9 percent, while the proportion of women sitting on supervisory boards increased by 1.4 percent to 11.2 percent, Z24 writes.

"Also, they often study faster and better. It is important for companies not to lose out on all of that talent."

The low numbers of women in the top jobs is soon to be a subject of debate in the House.

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