Companies increasingly indicate that they attach great importance to more diversity in high positions. Yet cultural diversity is still in its infancy at the top of Dutch companies. This is evident from the Talent to the Top 2018 Monitor.

Sixteen companies are participating in the Talent to the Top pilot to get more top men and women from different backgrounds. Although many companies have come to consider a diversity policy increasingly important, there is still room for improvement, according to the organization. Only five of the sixteen companies dare to set goals.

Since 2008, the organization has focused on getting more women to the top of the business community, but this year a pilot was started for the first time to get more talent from different cultures to leadership positions. "There was a demand for a broader focus on diversity from the business world," says Yelly Weidenaar, director of Talent to the Top.

Great shift

One of the companies participating in the pilot is ABN Amro. The bank wants 6 percent of the top to be at the end of next year from people with different backgrounds. The subtop consists of around 2,000 people and at least 7 percent must have such a background.

"These seem small percentages, but it is really a big shift. In 2013 this was perhaps 1 percent. We are already talking about 5.2 percent and that should therefore be 7 percent," says Nicole Böttger, Head of Diversity at ABN Amro. .

The bank has managed to increase this percentage in recent years by, among other things, providing training and mentoring programs. "If you want more diversity at the top then you must ensure that the pipeline is well filled," says Böttger.

For Böttger and Weidenaar, an active diversity policy does not mean compromising on quality. "We have to think about what quality is. We are inclined as people to think that our own good qualities are the most important. But sometimes you just have to look at someone else's qualities a little differently," says Weidenaar.

Talent at the Top sees an increase in the number of women in senior positions. Yet for many companies this is still very difficult to achieve. Minister Van Engelshoven (Emancipation) is currently even considering a quota for women to force companies to pursue other policies.

Böttger does not dare to say whether such a quota will be effective. "We have chosen our own objectives and that provides a lot of support within our company." Böttger and Weidenaar agree: "The ultimate goal is that it is no longer about percentages, but that diversity at the top is the norm."

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