Advancing Workplace Diversity: The Netherlands Model

Netherland’s Workplace Diversity

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the essence of workplace diversity has emerged as an essential factor in driving organizational success. And our main focus of the day is the Netherlands. Their rich culture and progressive mindset have become a leading figure for organizations for a better understanding of workplace diversity. 

Apart from their system of workplace diversity, their laws for promoting inclusivity have been regulated and enforced heavily. How can the Netherlands have excellent ideas and systems for workplace diversity?

With an introduction to how the Netherlands promote their diversity, now we delve into the different reasons as to why they have great inclusivity. 

World-Class Talent and Education

One reason why the Netherlands has good workplace diversity is due to its remarkable education systemranking 9th among the best for higher education. 

Moreover, their universities rank among the finest. These institutions, such as Wageningen University and TU Delft, pave the way for their populace to produce some of the best minds. This in turn creates a loop of excellence in the country where these minds deliver progressive ideas, further pushing progress.

Global Inclusivity

Beyond its skilled populace and education, the Netherlands has become a hub for global professionals. This is due to their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Their commitment to fostering a welcoming environment for local and international talent further highlights their excellence. Alongside it is their nation’s leading digital infrastructure, which supports remote and hybrid work models. One example is their internet speed, ranking 21st in the entire world. 

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Apart from their digital infrastructure, Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have been focused greatly in the Netherlands. From city councils to financial institutions, there’s a conscious effort to make workplaces more inclusive. This surge in D&I positions underscores the growing acknowledgment of diversity as a driver for organizational success.

Global Recognition

In a testament to its efforts, the Netherlands has been recognized globally for its strides in creating inclusive workplaces, as evidenced by Kantar’s Inclusion Index 2022. This index measures employee experience spanning about 13 countries and with a sample of 13,000 employees. In Kantar’s study, they found that the Netherlands increased in their ways of being inclusive compared to different countries. 

Equal Treatment Act

The Netherlands has firmly embedded the principles of non-discrimination in its legislative framework. The Dutch Equal Treatment Act offers comprehensive protection against discrimination on various grounds, some of which are race, sex, and nationality. 

Not only do they protect against direct discrimination, but also indirectly. They defined indirect discrimination when a “neutral behavior results in discrimination based on one of the grounds.”

Another thing that this act protects is against harassment. Within the Working Conditions Act, an employer is obligated to prevent harassment, and failure of doing so causes administrative fines for them.

The Diversity Quota and Targets Act

Stepping up its commitment to gender diversity, the Netherlands introduced the Diversity Quota and Targets Act in 2021. This landmark legislation mandates a balanced gender representation on the boards of large public and private companies. In essence, this act is applied to “large” companies. A company falls into this category if they have a specific set of criteria, one being that its assets are more than EUR 20 million.

Act on Gender Diversity

Reiterating its stance on gender diversity, the Dutch Senate introduced an act in January 2022 that promotes gender balance in Dutch company boards. This act aims to ensure balanced decision-making and has already seen significant traction. The biggest of which is the noticeable increase in female board members in the subsequent year.

The Netherlands, renowned for its rich cultural heritage and progressive mindset, has emerged as a paradigm for workplace diversity.

The laws provided here give a glimpse into how the Netherlands promotes workplace diversity and gives everyone a fair chance in life. Apart from a legislative point of view, they have a culture that embraces inclusivity, from their education system to how they promote DEI. Companies can therefore assess the benefits that the Netherlands can provide in terms of workplace diversity, and how they adapt in our progressive world.

Global People is a leading local employment solutions provider for national and international corporations and can advise and escort you in your next destination.

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Global People aims to assist its clients to fully focus on their development and success in their target destinations without having to worry about the regulation and compliance involved in the employment of their local and expat employees.


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