Almost as many female top civil servants as male in Dutch municipalities

THE HAGUE - The large Dutch municipalities are approaching gender equality regarding the number of women working as top civil servants. 44 percent of senior civil servant positions in the 25 largest Dutch municipalities are now filled by women, BNR reports based on its own research.

Top civil servants at municipalities are the municipal secretary, who manages the official organization, and the directors of various municipal departments, clusters, and concerns. In general, the larger the municipality, the more civil servants it employs.

The municipalities with the highest percentage of women in top positions are Ede with 75 percent, Zaanstad with 67 percent, and Haarlem with 61 percent. The municipalities at the bottom of the list are Almere (27 percent), Dordrecht (20 percent), and Den Bosch (17 percent).

Of the four largest municipalities in the Netherlands, Utrecht has the highest percentage of female top civil servants at 59 percent. Amsterdam and Rotterdam both have 50 percent female and 50 percent male. The Hague has 38 percent women. Eindhoven, the fifth-largest municipality in the country, has 30 percent women in top positions. 

National politics is also doing well on this front. For the first time in Dutch parliamentary history, the Rutte IV Cabinet - which was sworn in today - consists of an equal number of male and female Ministers and State Secretaries. 


That does not mean that it's time to relax, according to Mariette Turkenburg of Talent to the Top, a foundation that helps organizations get more women at the top. "On average, the government is doing well, but the picture is very mixed," she said to BNR. "You see these differences at the municipalities, and we also see them at the Ministries, for example. So there is certainly still work to be done there. They can't sit back."

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