Governance

Only Wolters Kluwer meets the statutory target number of women in Board of Directors

September 4, 2014

Wolters Kluwer is the only company to meet the proposed target figure of 30% of the Board of Directors being woman. Today, 30 of the 87 stock exchange securities (34%) still have no female in their Executive Board or Supervisory Board. This was revealed by the Dutch Female Board Index 2014. (Reference date: August 31, 2014).

Image: © Nationale Beeldbank

Unilever has the highest number of women in the Board of Directors; 5 of the 13 are female (39%). However, a female executive director is lacking. PostNL and TomTom almost comply; they have an Executive Board in which more than 30% is female, but the two companies fall slightly short of the target figure of 30% with 29% female non-executive-directors.

Of all of the non-executive directors appointed in the past year at the 87 Dutch stock market companies, almost one third is female. The percentage of women on Supervisory Boards has risen to 19.5%. In 2013, this figure was still 17.5%.

Although the growing trend is continuing, the increase is the number of female non-executive directors has slackened somewhat compared to last year; it so happens that the proportion increased considerably in 2013 rising from 13.5% to 17.5%. The proportion of female executive directors shows a slight increase this year, from 4.7% in 2013 to 6.0% in 2014. Three additional female executive directors were appointed at (AkzoNobel, DSM and Value8). The majority (7) of the total number of 13 female executive directors comes from abroad. What strikes the eye is that 7 of the 13 female executive directors are CFO, 2 executive directors are CEO.

The Dutch Female Board Index of Prof. Dr. Mijntje Lückerath, professor of Corporate Governance at TIAS School for Business and Society, shows the progress of the share of women in the Supervisory Boards and Executive Boards of Dutch stock listed companies since 2007.

Target number feasible in 2020

The current trend means that Supervisory Boards will be able to meet the Dutch statutory target figure in 2020. With regard to female executive directors this will take until 2033 with the current growth rate.

38% of the female non-executive directors come from abroad, a percentage of 29% applies to men. In addition, 54% of the female executive directors is from abroad, the percentage of men is 23%.

Age, term and nationality

The Female Board Index also provides other data relating to the composition of the Executive Boards and Supervisory Boards of the 87 Dutch stock listed companies. For example, the term of the average executive director in the Executive Board is 5.5 years, while the average non-executive director holds a seat in the Supervisory Board for 4.9 years. Of the 22 AEX-securities, Heineken has the Executive Board with the longest term (10.6 years) and the Supervisory Board with the longest term (7.1 years). The average age of the executive directors is 52.9 years, the average age of the non-executive directors is 61.4 years. Of the 22 AEX-securities, the average youngest Executive Board can be found at DSM (48.4 years), but DSM also has the second oldest Supervisory Board (average age 66.3 years).

Since 2005, the proportion of foreigners in the Supervisory Boards has increased from 22% in 2005 to 31% in 2014. Of all of the 22 AEX-securities, no less than 52% of the non-executive directors is from abroad.

Read more

Dutch Female Board Index, Mijntje Lückerath (2014)
The full dossier about the Dutch Female Board Index

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