Intention is not yet implementation

We have all been talking about it for years: more diversity, more inclusion, more women at the top. Women now fill about 15% of the top positions. It is true that more and more women are shortlisted for executive positions, but they are not appointed. 

And that is, at its core, the biggest problem of diversity. We talk about it a lot, but when it comes to trading, it gets complicated. The reality is, if you have a 'wrong last name' or woman, we would instead hire someone else. Just to be sure. 'In case of equal suitability, giving preference with a non-Western background' sounds fascinating, but only if you are willing to realize that having a different surname already leads to an uneven playing field. 

To make that very concrete: one of our colleagues with a non-Western surname, a Dutch passport, and an excellent CV sent an application to 80 Dutch organizations. She did not even receive confirmation of receipt from more than 70 employers. Realize what is happening here: 90% of employers, mostly larger organizations with professional HR and recruitment departments, decide not to respond. Last week, her partner, with a typical Dutch surname, scored two invitations on two applications.

Diversity finds itself in the extremely unattractive quadrant 'important, not urgent. And as long as you don't decide to move it to the 'important and urgent' quadrant, nothing will change. 

"Is that bad?" You may ask yourself. That depends on how you look at it.  If you don't do it from intrinsic motivation:  what do you think will be the effect of systematic exclusion, unequal treatment, discrimination? If it is important to you that we live in a society where everyone participates, we work together on the future, we enable everyone to become the best version of themselves, then it makes sense to work hard on this. Having more women at the top is very easy to solve: do not hire men. Shall we?