Amsterdam implements preference policy for more diverse officials

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Centrum along the Amstel, Netherlandsphb.czDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

Too few culturally diverse civil servants occupy management postilions in Amsterdam, GroenLinks alderman Touria Meliani wrote in a letter to the Amsterdam city council. The city therefore decided to implement a so-called preference policy to increase the diversity of its workforce, NOS reports.

Amsterdam aims to have 30 percent of its board-level officials be from diverse backgrounds, about twice as much as now. Only two of the current 58 directors in Amsterdam are ethnically diverse. "And I think that is far too little," Meliani wrote. She also wants to increase diversity among Amsterdam employees under the age of 35. 

"People are just more quick to hire someone who looks like them, I want to break through that," Meliani said. According to the alderman, an inclusive and diverse organization will lead to better policy, better contact with Amsterdam residents, and more equal opportunities.

The plans to build a representative workforce does not end with the recruitment of diverse employees, but must continue once people have been hired, Meliani added.

According to Het Parool, Amsterdam also implemented a preference policy twenty years ago, but the city council dropped it in 1997 because it had no effect.