Monday, April 15, 2024

Gender inequality spotlight cast on Dutch clubs to be more transparent

Dutch international Maria Verschoor has challenged clubs to be more open and transparent after questioning gender equality at board and committee level.

“The board grades in sports are dominated by men. And this while two-thirds of the hockey players are women,” the Oranje player wrote on social media recently.

In 2020, Dutch hockey’s long term sponsor, ABN Amro, launched a campaign to address inequality in the sport across pay salaries, coaching and the boardroom.

By 2025, it wants to see 35 per cent of director and sub-director posts held by women, aiming for 45 per cent in the layer below executive board level.

Verschoor said: “The boards of all main class clubs should and should be able to explain why they make certain choices and look at themselves and their composition more critical. It is maintained by each other, a joint solution has to come and the union should also take responsibility in this.

“The facts have long been known and we are aware of it. Why do we still accept it in this time when we strive for equality? Couldn’t we create much more transparency about payments, returns and sponsorships, because I don’t know how it’s all so accurate. Only then can we have a good conversation about it. Words and promises aren’t enough anymore.”

According to figures in Dutch hockey, male players earn five to ten times more than women, 70 per cent of coaches in all teams are male, 80 per cent of hockey club presidents are male, while 80 per cent of sponsorship funds is spent on men.

Highlighting the success of Amsterdam, where Verschoor plays, in regularly reaching the top league play-offs, she added: “We are featured on television almost weekly. We played the EHL for years and raised money with it. Not only our club, but many clubs do not pay and treat men and women equally, regardless of whether they play at the top of the Main Class.

“Some clubs claim that their men’s teams play better than the women’s, but at the women’s clubs you don’t see the women earning more. Which side are you reasoning? More money might also bring better results instead of the other way around.

“I will keep fighting for this.”

Amsterdam chairman Marc Staal said: “We fully support the statement of Maria Verschoor and Josine Koning. The principle that men and women perform the same work, but are paid differently for it, is outdated. Not for a very long time, we think.”

Total Hockey

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