Een lange weg: De ondervertegenwoordiging van vrouwen in management en top nader verklaard

Johanna Gesina Fredrica Merens

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 2 (Research NOT UU / Graduation UU)


Although the number of women in senior and management roles in the Netherlands has increased over the last 20 years, the number of women in such positions still lags behind the number of men – particularly in large enterprises. Why is it that so few women take up management or senior roles? This is the focus of the doctoral thesis Een lange weg. De ondervertegenwoordiging van vrouwen in management en top nader verklaard (A long way: Underrepresentation of women in management and senior roles explained) by Ans Merens. There have been no recent national empirical studies in the Netherlands to explore the reasons for the low proportion of women in leadership and management roles. In an attempt to explain the underrepresentation of women in such roles, Ans Merens has performed a set of quantitative analyses based on a number of different theories and databases. Studies tracking people for a long time have shown that the main cause for the underrepresentation of women in management and leadership positions is the transition of relatively fewer women to such positions. This underrepresentation cannot be explained by a higher share of women transitioning out of management and leadership roles, as the numbers are the same for both men and women. The thesis demonstrates that the imbalance between the number of men and women in management and leadership positions is mainly due to the much greater number of women who work part-time relative to men. Furthermore, working part-time and working little overtime have been shown to reduce opportunities for transitioning to leadership roles in the future. Thirdly, the thesis explains that a coherent diversity policy and the commitment of the top management with this policy are important conditions for getting more women into management and leadership roles. The thesis concludes by arguing that an effective way to achieve this is by taking a combination of many different types of measures regarding terms of employment (e.g. enabling working from home) and careers policy (e.g. offering management training).
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Schippers, Joop, Primary supervisor
  • Remery, Chantal, Co-supervisor
Award date23 Sept 2022
Place of PublicationUtrecht
Print ISBNs978-90-393-7501-3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2022


  • gender equality
  • diversity in organisations
  • careers
  • promotion
  • workplace authority
  • diversity policies
  • efficacy

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