Coalition party wants quota for women in top jobs

The D66 wants to introduce a temporary quota for women in top positions at listed companies. According to parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp, the current rules for getting more women in top jobs are insufficient and a quota is needed for equal opportunities on the labor market, NOS reports. 

Six years ago the largest companies in the Netherlands got the goal of having 30 percent women in leadership positions by 1 January 2020. The majority of the companies are not yet close to this goal. 

Earlier this month the Female Board Index 2019 showed that the percentage of female directors and supervisory directors increased at all 88 Dutch listed companies. Of the 29 new directors appointed in the past appointment period, seven are women. The percentage of female directors therefore increased from 5.7 to 8.5 percent. But the increase could have been considerably higher, according to the index, as 71 companies with no women in the board appointed 19 new male directors. Only six of the 88 listed companies will achieve the goal of 30 percent women in top positions on January 1st. 

According to Bergkamp, a hammer is needed to smash the current status quo. "A temporary women's quota is that hammer", she said. Companies should be given two appointment periods - a total of eight years - to meet the quota. If companies still appoint too many men, the government should be able to cancel their appointment, according to the parliamentarian. 

The D66 believes that the top of the public sector should consist of 40 percent women, using the government as an example. After 12 years, the government can assess whether the quota must expire or remain in place.

So far there is no majority support in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, for such a quota.