Boer & Croon celebrates international women's day. Because it's still needed.

International Women's Day has been celebrated in the Netherlands on March 8 since 1912. At Boer & Croon, on that day we reflect on the struggles women have fought to gain an equal position in society. We have achieved a lot in over a century, but we still have a long way to go. For women in countries where women's rights are not at all self-evident. But there is also room for improvement in our own country. We asked three of our people what this day means to them.

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Female leadership in the boardroom in demand

There is a growing appreciation that men and women are different. There was a time when there was something like 'come to work, but you can do that womanhood outside of work hours'. Fortunately, we have left that behind us.

Female leadership in the boardroom in demand
It used to be that although women would advance to leadership positions, they would then adapt to the masculine culture. To survive, they jettisoned feminine traits. Now there is an increasing eye for feminine leadership, someone who does not just call the shots, but listens, asks questions and shows empathy. Women tend to look a little more at the long term and the quality of decisions. While men may show a bit more decisiveness and decisiveness. This is also important, of course, but it would be nice if we could achieve a better balance.
If you look at the current themes in society, for example in healthcare, where chain cooperation is an important issue, you can only achieve this if you focus on these more feminine qualities.

Finding a new balance

First you were not allowed to participate. Then you were allowed to participate, but according to the men's rules, and now you are actually invited to find a new balance together. That is a good development.With diversity you use all the qualities available in society. People sometimes say, diversity brings complexity, because then you have different opinions. It's very nice to agree with each other, but that doesn't always lead to the best decisions. So I would encourage women, don't be afraid of your own input. Men can no longer say 'nice that you think this, but we're going to do it the way we've always done it'.

At Boer & Croon, we're doing a lot of that. In our executive search, when we are looking for a new manager or director, we are often specifically asked for a connector, someone who listens well and, of course, can take action. This International Women's Day remains necessary to draw attention to the position of women in society. We have achieved a lot, but there is still a lot of work to do. For example, in the areas of equal pay, advancement opportunities and the work-life balance. I still sometimes hear that women are asked during job interviews how they plan to combine their job with the family. A man never gets that question.

Willemijn Broerse is a partner at Boer & Croon


Address skewed labor & care ratio broad social responsibility

We have a skewed division between labor and care in the Netherlands. The moment children are on the way, 60% of parents say they plan to divide these things equally. When all is said and done, it turns out that this actually happens in only 16% of cases.

One example that contributes - at the system level - to maintaining that skewed distribution is parental leave. Fortunately, we see more and more men taking parental leave as well, but equality is still not there. Especially right after the birth, the woman almost by default takes on the care task. The moment she wants to enter the labor process again, it turns out to be very difficult to straighten this out.


When women reach the top, misogyny lurks

When a woman attains a top position, she faces misogyny in many cases. Research shows that female politicians are treated with demonstrably more hatred than their male colleagues. Just look at Sigrid Kaag and Femke Halsema. You can disagree with them, but I doubt they would get as much mud thrown at them if they had been called Jasper and Erik. Political parties struggle to attract women for this reason.

There is an important role for the media. Corrective action should be taken more often when women politicians are treated unfairly on radio and television. I think most interviewers are unaware of this, but of course that is no excuse. Just watch, the frame is ingrained: a woman is overzealous while a man is ambitious. Where she is portrayed as a control freak, he gets applause because he is so good at keeping an overview.