About SER Topvrouwen

SER Topvrouwen subscribes to the importance of a larger proportion of women at the top of the Dutch business community. With a view to innovative strength and balanced decision-making, gender diversity in companies ought to be at the top of the boardroom agenda.

In order to accelerate the advancement of the number of female executives and commissioners, Topvrouwen.nl was launched at the end of 2014 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch employers' federation VNO-NCW. As a follow up to this initiative, the Topvrouwen Foundation was set up in February 2016, which is now active as SER Topvrouwen and forms part of the SER Diversity and Inclusion programme.

SER advisory report Diversity at the top, time for acceleration

On 11 February 2021, the Dutch House of Representatives approved the legislative proposal lodged by Minister Dekker (legal safeguards) and Minister Van Engelshoven (emancipation) for the introduction of a gradual quota and targets figures for more diversity at the top of the business community. With this, the SER advisory report Diversity at the top, time for acceleration has been adopted integrally and a gradual entry quota – in daily practice also referred to as the 'women's quota' – for supervisory boards of listed companies is a reality. A historic occasion! We are on the eve of real equality at the top of the business community. Now is the time to move forward: focus and continue to draw attention to this to ensure that a balanced representation of women and men is actually achieved in the boardrooms of the Dutch business community.

Database of women leaders

SER Topvrouwen makes the group of highly qualified board-ready women in the Netherlands more visible. By including women with talent and ambition in the database of top-level businesswomen, we want to boost the advancement of women into top-level positions. The database is open to women who have relevant work experience in business or (semi) public organisations in positions at management, directorship or executive level.

Apart from that, the site serves as a gateway for companies, institutions and (non-)executive search agencies who are looking for female candidates for a Board of Directors, Board of Commissioners or Supervisory Board. It goes without saying that the database complies with the legal requirements concerning privacy.

We involve all parties - companies, institutions, (non-)executive search agencies, women and men - in the debate on (the acceleration of) diversity. SER Topvrouwen is not in any way involved in the recruitment and selection process; that is and remains a matter for employers and (non-)executive search agencies which companies may engage to fill vacancies.

SER Topvrouwen does not act as a substitute for existing initiatives, but can, where appropriate, lend added impetus and momentum to existing trajectories. Within the framework of the law for gradual entry quota and target figures, we focus specifically on the top-level segment and the higher management layers of the Dutch business community. We are dedicated to having a high impact when it comes to gender diversity. We do this by highlighting the urgency of this theme, going deeper into and broadening certain approaches, also through effective cooperation with other concerned parties.