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Sex discrimination in the Dutch workplace is still a thing: study

Sex discrimination in the workplace is still a regular occurrence, but who would have guessed that this would still be a problem in the progressive Netherlands? It’s 2019, after all! Keep reading to see how sexism manifests itself in the Dutch workplace.

Lacking a Y chromosome? You may be out of luck in the workplace with recent statistics showing that when looking for staff, recruiters approach women far less often than men. According to Financieele Dagblad (FD), this is the case even with staff shortages in many sectors and strain on the labour market.

Intelligence Group carried out a survey that found 43 per cent of men were approached at least once a quarter. Meanwhile, only 31 per cent of women were approached at least once in the same timeframe.

The only conclusion Robert van Veggel, director for recruitment company Steens & Partners in Zuid- and Oost-Nederland, said he could reach is that women want to work part-time more often and are therefore not as sought-after as individuals searching for full-time positions.

Women are too modest about their skill set

Researcher Geert-Jan Wassdorp does not believe in this argument because it cannot be deduced from the profiles in advance. Instead, he thinks that perhaps women are too modest about their talents whilst men tend to over-exaggerate their achievements.

The FD carried out a study through an agency that keeps track of how often people are approached for a job (unemployed, employed and students). All work branches hired more men in general. This was the case even with healthcare, which employs a lot of female staff.

What will happen to companies that continue to discriminate?

In October, State Secretary of Social Affairs, Tamara van Ark, presented a bill to crack down on discrimination on the labour market. This will result in companies being fined if they are caught discriminating potential employees. Furthermore, the reason for the fine will be made public.

Although times are changing with employers discriminating much less than in 2015, there is still a long way to go. Moreover, individuals with a migration background still have less chance of being called to an interview.

Is joking around a clever thing to do in the workplace?

Interestingly, office banter works only in favour of men. According to Harvard Business Review, when men inject humour into a business presentation, they are viewed as individuals with a higher status within the organisation. People think that they are more capable leaders and performers.

However, this backfires on women. When they added humour to the exact same presentation, they were viewed as less capable leaders.

So watch out ladies, men may not be able to deal with your sense of humour!

Have you faced discrimination in the workplace? Has it been due to sexism or anything else? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!


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