● 42,3 % considers themselves being at the very beginning when it comes to DEI strategy and policies
● 85% sent out employee survey but 72% overlook evaluations on inclusion and sense of belonging
● In comparison to last year numbers are declining : 19% of women working in tech (compared to 21% of last year) and only 13% in senior tech roles, 75% of leadership positions held by native Dutch.

The percentage of women working in the tech sector has dropped from 21% to 19% in the past year. Still women's representation in senior tech roles remains only at 13%. Not to mention an alarming 42,3% of companies define themselves as being only at the beginning stage of their D&I journey. These are some of the conclusions drawn by the Dutch DEI Coalition in their second Dutch D&I in Digital Benchmark of 2023. Diversity Hero, together with Techleap and the Taskforce D&I by NLdigital, supported by Booking.com and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, is set to unveil today its new D&I report during the TNW Conference, on June 16. The report sheds light on the state of DEI in the Netherlands, revealing declining numbers and a lack of commitment among tech companies.

With the upcoming EU D&I legislation and policy on the horizon, the release of this report is especially timely. Although a signification depreciation in key D&I indicators within the Dutch tech landscape is highlighted. Similar to gender diversity also cultural diversity scores low. With only 25% of leadership positions hold by individuals from a non-dutch background. Another disparity arises as the data reveals that although 85% companies declare to conduct Employee Engagement survey, a staggering 72% fails to prioritize evaluations on inclusion and sense of belonging of their employees.

While discussions surrounding diversity and inclusion appear to be on the agenda, it is evident that a considerable portion of organizations lacks the necessary commitment and tangible measures to progress beyond the initial stages. This imbalance hampers the advancement of a truly inclusive Dutch tech industry. Without dedicated efforts and concrete actions to address diversity and inclusion, the industry as a whole risks perpetuating inequities, limiting opportunities, and failing to harness the benefits of diverse perspectives and talents.

To overcome these challenges, there is an urgent need for increased efforts, strategic initiatives, and a collective engagement. Gillian Tans, founder of Diversity Hero, indeed highlighted the importance of combining commitment with data-driven approaches to effect lasting change: "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."

In conclusion, the report stresses out the importance of the Netherlands' tech industry stepping up its commitment to D&I to maintain its relevance and secure its leading position as one of Europe's pioneering innovation hubs. The findings serve as a collective call to action, highlighting the need for significant improvements by aligning its D&I efforts with those of other European leading nations. By prioritizing strategies, knowledge-sharing across European borders and collaboration between government, industry leaders and organizations, Dutch tech has still the change to drive transformative change and position itself as a frontrunner in the D&I landscape.

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