Dutch companies still struggling to increase diversity among executives: report
Companies increasingly say that they attach great importance to more diversity in high positions, yet cultural diversity among executives is still an exception and not the rule at Dutch companies, according to the 2018 Monitor by Talent to the Top. While companies say they want to increase diversity among their execs, few are willing to actually set goals and implement measures to achieve this, NOS reports.
This year 16 companies are taking part in a Talent to the Top experiment to get more men and women from different backgrounds among their executives. Although many of these companies have come to consider a diversity policy increasingly important, only five of them actually set goals to achieve, the Talent to the Top said.
ABN Amro is one of the companies participating in this experiment. The bank's goal is to have 6 percent of its executives be fromm different backgrounds by the end of next year, and at least 7 percent of the sub-executives. "These seem like small percentages, but it is really a big shift", Nicole Bottger, head of diversity at ABN Amro, said to NOS. "In 2013 it was perhaps 1 percent. Now we are already at 5.2 percent and that should become 7 percent."
The bank managed to increase the diversity in its top positions by providing training and mentoring programs, among other things. "If you want more diversity at the top, then you must ensure that there pipeline is well filled." By providing training and mentoring, the bank can also ensure that increasing diversity does not mean compromising on quality.
Yelly Weidenaar, director of Talent to the Top, agrees that an increase in diversity does not have to mean a decrease in quality. "We have to think about what quality is. We as people are inclined to think that our own good qualities are most important. But sometimes you just have to look at someone else's qualities a little differently."
Talent to the Top is a foundation that aims to get more diverse talent in the top of organizations. The foundation was founded in 2016 from the merger of two organizations that have been committed to increasing diversity and inclusiveness for years. The foundation has long been fighting to get more women in top positions. But this year it shifted its attention to cultural diversity, due to demand from the business world, Weidenaar said to the broadcaster.