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Netherlands to force companies to have more women on boards

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch parliament voted on Tuesday to require companies listed in the Netherlands to have at least 30% of supervisory board seats held by women.

The motion to introduce the requirement for companies listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange was passed by 87 votes to 63.

Companies that do not meet the minimum threshhold will have to replace any man leaving the board with a woman, or leave the position empty.

The motion also requires around 5,000 other large companies to draw up detailed plans to increase the number of women on their supervisory and executive boards.

The Dutch government said in 2013 that all large companies should reserve at least 30% of board seats for women, but did not set conditions for companies that did not meet the criteria.

Currently, less than 10% of Dutch listed companies meet the target for both their executive and supervisory board, while only a third have enough female supervisory board members to meet the new requirement.

The motion was supported by a broad range of opposition and government parties, but was opposed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD party.

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