Men dominate top jobs at Dutch businesses
According to Mercer, the ratio of senior executives and managers that were female averaged 29 percent in countries across Europe, compared to 71 percent of men. The Netherlands performed even worse, with just 19 percent of women in top jobs at Dutch companies (only just above Egypt at 16 percent).
The research, which surveyed more than 5.300 companies, criticises efforts to address gender inequality. Sophie Black, Principal in Mercer’s Executive Remuneration team, commented: "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, Ms Black doesn't feel that the Netherlands is a conservative nation for women: "The figure for Netherlands suggests that it is very conservative, in its approach to equality in the workplace, actually, the reverse is true."
The Netherlands' poor performance may be indicative of working lifestyles rather than gender discrimination. Like the UK, a very high proportion of Dutch women prefer to work part-time for childcare and cultural reasons. It is well established that part-time workers are overlooked for promotion and opportunities.