Women in top positions: we need a Dutch Spring!


Women in top positions: only few women have top positions in the Netherlands, Mercer reveals today based on data on 264,000 senior management and executives in 5,321 companies across 41 European countries.
Eastern countries like Lithuania, Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan and Estonia lead the list with percentages like 44 – 37% women in top positions; somewhere down the list, still better than Saudi Arabia (0%), Qatar (7%), Egypt (16%) and United Arab Emirates (17%) we find The Netherlands: 19% ! Wow.
Read this for yourselves at: http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/Analysis-of-gender-representation-in-executive-roles.
I quote the Mercer site where Sophie Black, Principal in Mercer’s Executive Remuneration team says: “For a gender comprising over half the global population, women’s representation in senior corporate roles is woeful. The cause is complicated. It’s cultural, social, in some cases it is intentional discrimination but it can also be unconscious – the desire to recruit people like you. This unconscious bias is hard to eradicate. The end result of all these issues is a creation of a ‘pyramid of invisibility’ for women in corporate life.”
However, when it comes to an explanation about the Netherlands, she finds excuses like these: “The Netherlands is a progressive nation but, like the UK, has very high levels of women working part-time”. However the UK still has a score of 28%, much higher than The Netherlands. Like child care, parttime work is often used as an excuse for the lack of Dutch women in top positions. But half of the high educated women in the Netherlands do not have children and do not work part time… so that can’t explain the figures.
Countries like Turkey and Morocco where women are supposed to have a more traditional role (at least in the eyes of many Dutch), beat the Netherlands (19%) with scores like 26% resp. 23%. With a score in between the score of the group of Middle Eastern countries, I think there is only one way to go for the Dutch. They had their Arab Spring last year, now it is our turn: we need a Dutch Spring!

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