Ski hall manager SnowWorld wants to appoint two men to the company’s supervisory board next Friday. This means it does not meet the top women’s quota, which has been in effect since the beginning of this year. The quota stipulates that at least one third of the supervisory directors of listed companies must be women.
SnowWorld, which is therefore listed on the stock exchange, currently has too few women at the top. The four-member supervisory board (SB) consists of three men and one woman. But instead of now appointing an extra female supervisory director, SnowWorld is nominating two men: Efteling director Fons Jurgens and Michael Schenck, who is affiliated with the Belgian investment fund Alychlo. Schenck replaces one of the current supervisory directors (a man), Jurgens becomes the fifth supervisory director on the board. So there are four men and one woman on the supervisory board.
A so-called special shareholders’ meeting was called on Friday. Then the shareholders of SnowWorld must agree to the nomination of the two men, after which the appointment is official. It remains to be seen whether the nomination will arouse much resistance. Alychlo, the investment fund to which the intended Supervisory Board member Schenck is associated, owns approximately 90 percent of SnowWorld.
The top women’s quota, adopted by the House of Representatives at the end of 2019, aims to combat the underrepresentation of women at the top of the Dutch business community. The quota only applies to supervisory directors of a company, not to directors.
Also read this fact check about top women and men: ‘In the Netherlands there are more CEOs named Peter than CEOs who are women’
Two-thirds meet quota
More than two-thirds of listed companies now meet the quota, it said the Female Board Index as late as September of last year. This publication keeps track of how many women work at the top of the corporate world every year. The idea is that if a company does not meet the quota, every new appointment of a man must be annulled. As long as there are enough women at the table.
Will that now also happen at SnowWorld? The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (jointly responsible for the Quota Act) does not want to comment on the situation at SnowWorld. A spokesperson does say that new appointments since the beginning of this year must “contribute to a more balanced male-female ratio in the supervisory board. A new appointment that does not meet this requirement is null and void.” But, the ministry also states: “It is up to the judge to make a decision in individual cases.”
The terms of two current Supervisory Board members of SnowWorld, Freya Loncin (f) and Koen Hoffman (m) expires this year, according to the company’s website. A supervisory director is usually appointed for terms of four years. That could mean that Loncin and Hoffman will also be replaced, although it is not uncommon for supervisory directors to be reappointed.
SnowWorld does not wish to answer specific questions about the supervisory directors. The company does say in a written response that it will “communicate to our shareholders” at the shareholders’ meeting next Friday. “We are of course aware of the legislation and we absolutely endorse its importance. We will therefore certainly meet the obligations.” The company says it will only respond further after the shareholders’ meeting has taken place.
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