'In this day and age, it's unthinkable to have a top management with only men. When I see how slowly progress is being made on the issue of top women, I do start to tend towards a quota.'

Annemarie Jorritsma, the new coordinator for the Women to the Top project, is going to 'knock a few men's heads together' to make sure that they make space for women on their executive and supervisory boards. 'In this day and age, it's unthinkable to have a top management with only men,' she said this week in the new tablet issue of Forum. 'When I see how slowly progress is being made on the issue of top women, I do start to tend towards a quota.'

A matter of honour

Jorritsma was appointed to help the programme in its efforts to achieve a share of at least 30 per cent women on executive and supervisory boards. Companies have until 2023 to accomplish this. If this does not happen, Jet Bussemaker, formerly the minister responsible for gender equality, wants to introduce a quota. It should be a matter of honour for a large company,' says Jorritsma.

Underestimation

For the time being, she is using a gentle approach. Jorritsma has a list of companies that will have vacancies at the top over the next year, and she will approach them directly. She also wants to encourage women to go for top jobs that they are uncertain about. 'Men are front and centre, while women underestimate themselves. I have also had trouble with that. Support from outside is therefore extremely important.'

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