I am proud to share with you the 2023 edition of the Dutch D&I in Digital benchmark report. In an era where technology plays an ever-expanding role in our lives, it is imperative that we examine the composition of the workforce behind these innovations and ensure that it reflects the diversity of the world we live in.
The lack of data and overall inconsistency in measuring D&I data, brought me to start this initiative. As known, data provides an objective and evidence based foundation for understanding the current state of diversity and inclusion within organizations. Collecting and analyzing this data allows us to identify disparities, gaps, and areas of improvement, enabling us to make better informed decisions and take targeted actions. Alongside the lack
of data, Diversity Hero also started to address a missed opportunity in the tech industry of the Netherlands of cohesion and collaboration, in which companies could benefit from working jointly while learning from each other.
The perception of the Netherlands falling behind in measuring diversity and inclusion may be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the country’s historical context, which emphasized a homogeneous cultural identity and equality, may have hindered the recognition of the importance of addressing these issues. Moreover, the legal framework in the Netherlands has mainly concentrated on preventing discrimination rather than actively measuring and promoting diversity and inclusion. Lastly, a traditionally valued privacy and individuality of the Dutch society might also have contributed to this perception.
I believe in the power of data, opening up possibilities
for companies to measure progress, tracking the impact of their initiatives over time. Without it, it becomes challenging to assess the effectiveness of their strategies, and to actually move forward. Therefore, the purpose of this initiative is to shed light on the current state of diversity and inclusion within the Dutch tech industry, by providing a benchmark for organizations to assess their own efforts and progress. The following report presents the findings of a qualitative survey, conducted among various companies, spanning different industry sectors and company types. Data and insights to gender and cultural diversity, generational gaps and the strategies and policies organizations have in place will be provided.
“Let’s start combining commitment with what tech companies do best: follow the data. We have to dig deeper, learn from each other, find patterns and be courageous. It’s time to make changes that actually work.”
Despite efforts to engage companies and expand our scope, as well as introducing two new optional sections on inclusion and the sense of belonging of employees, we noticed a lack of significant progress in companies’ efforts since last year. The Netherlands lags behind compared other European countries, where policies and legislation being put in place are showing greater impact. The latter is primarily due to the struggle of gaining commitment from companies to measure and benchmark D&I data. Showing that companies remain unaware of the crucial significance of measuring diversity and inclusion.
The release of the 2023 edition of the Dutch D&I in Digital benchmark report highlights the pressing need for collective action and greater awareness within the Dutch tech industry. Only through collective efforts can we create a more inclusive and equitable future for the upcoming generations. Together, we must make a greater effort to raise awareness and propel the Netherlands forward. I would like to thank our partners: Techleap.nl, Taskforce D&I by NLdigital, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and Booking.com. A special thanks to all companies that participated in this year’s benchmark, your efforts towards accelerating DEI through data is important and makes you a role model within the Dutch tech industry.
Achieving a significant and lasting change cannot be accomplished solely by a few. It necessitates the active participation and ownership of everyone involved. Let’s start combining commitment with what tech companies do best: follow the data. We have to dig deeper, learn from each other, find patterns and be courageous. It’s time to make changes that actually work.