The Netherlands is falling behind when it comes to promoting gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Gender Gap Index published on Tuesday 11 December. Dropping 11 spots in the ranking, the Netherlands is now ranked at number 38.
The Global Gender Gap provides insight into inequalities between men and women in 153 countries, based on a number of factors including economic participation, access to education, political influence, and life expectancy. The UvA’s Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation (ACBI), under the leadership of Scientific Director Henk Volberda, is a partner institute of the WEF and compiled the data for the Netherlands.
Volberda believes that gender equality policy in the Netherlands has not been particularly effective over the past few years: ‘The political influence of women in the Netherlands lags behind compared to Scandinavian countries, while growth in participation in the labour force and career opportunities for women has stagnated’.
The PDF document below provides an overview of where the Netherlands experienced the most significant drops in the ranking categories.
According to Volberda, it is important that a country improves the economic participation of women, especially in times of economic prosperity: ‘We have highly qualified and and educated women in the Netherlands; we should do everything possible to ensure they are promoted to leadership and management roles and political positions. Scandinavian countries clearly lead the way when it comes to arrangements for parents to combine work and family life, such as child care and maternity leave. In addition to financial incentices, social security schemes and employer investments that cancel out the gender gap, a top-down approach where legislation is introduced for a quota of female board members in listed companies could also provide a boost.’