Gender Quota in the Boardroom: The Dutch Approach
Keywords:Corporations Law, Governance, Corporate Boards, Gender Quotas, Legislation, Regulation
AbstractSince 2013 the Dutch Civil Code has required a minimum of 30 per cent women (and men) on both the executive and the supervisory boards of companies. The law is based on the comply or explain principle: companies that have not reached the 30 per cent target on one or other of these Boards should explain in their annual report why the seats are not evenly distributed, how the company has tried to achieve a balanced distribution of the seats and how the company intends in future to realise a balanced distribution of the seats. Research among the 87 listed companies in the Netherlands shows that the average percentage of women on supervisory boards increased to 25 per cent in 2014, but that the percentage on executive boards increased only to 6 per cent. While the 30 per cent target should have been reached by January 2016, it seems only a matter of time before a quota with sanctions will be introduced in the Netherlands.