A quarter of the companies that fall under the top women’s quota currently do not have enough women on their supervisory boards. This is evident from an inventory of NRC† Of the more than 100 listed companies, 26 companies – including Basic-Fit and Just Eat Takeaway – still need to increase the number of women on the supervisory board. Twelve of those companies currently do not even have a single female supervisory director.
The quota for top women has been in effect since the beginning of this year, which is intended to ensure a better balance between men and women at the top of the Dutch business community. The law only applies to supervisory boards of listed companies: at least one third of the supervisory directors must be women.
Companies that do not yet meet the top women’s quota do not immediately break the law. It is a so-called ‘growth quota’, male supervisory directors may be reappointed. Only if a new male supervisory director is appointed while there are still too few female supervisory directors, that appointment can be declared invalid by law.
The number of companies meeting the quota has increased slightly since last year. About 68 percent of listed companies complied with it last year, according to an earlier, similar count of NRC† Now it’s three quarters. Especially the large multinationals (listed on the AEX) employ many top women.
Companies have had a long time to look for female directors. At the end of 2019, the quota law was passed by the House of Representatives. In addition, a target figure for listed companies has been in place for some time (since 2011), which also prescribed that at least one third of the supervisory directors should be women.
Last year, a total of 173 people were appointed as director or supervisory director at the top of the listed business community. About 30 percent of the positions went to a woman, the vast majority of whom were appointed to the Supervisory Board.
Although there are other ways to meet the quota. For example, business services provider Brunel International will not appoint a new female supervisory director, but will not replace the male supervisory director who will soon be retiring. As a result, the company still meets the quota.
Shortage of top women E6-7
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of April 26, 2022
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