Diversity and inclusiveness
NS believes it is essential to work with a rich diversity of people and views in terms of age, experience, background, gender, sexual orientation and character. We offer a business environment in which everybody is welcome. At NS, we ensure equal opportunities for all employees to develop their talents to the full, as part of our effort to create an open, safe and inclusive environment. We strive to reflect society at all levels; to that end we encourage programmes to attract and retain female employees, employees with a migration background and employees with occupational disabilities. We also expect our suppliers to support these goals, as reflected in our Supplier Code of Conduct.
Women at the top
At year-end 2021, women filled 36% of senior management positions at NS (2020: 37%). At that moment, 50% of the members of the Supervisory Board were female and the Executive Board had two female members (40%).
A study in 2021 reconfirmed that there is no pay gap between men and women at NS. Factors such as the number of contact hours and age were taken into account in the study.
Staff with occupational disabilities
In 2021, there were 131 people in ‘social responsibility jobs’ at NS (2020: 119), of whom 108 had an employment contract at the end of December. As people worked from home for much of the year and due to the labour market shortages, it proved quite a challenge at some points in time to attract and properly guide colleagues with an occupational disability. At the end of 2021, 18 job vacancies had not yet been filled. In early 2021 we launched a new approach to attract and guide colleagues with an occupational disability for technical jobs. This also involved the opening of a special production department, ‘De Kabelstraat', at the Haarlem maintenance centre. This department is part of the regular production process. Employees receive special guidance and are offered opportunities to develop their talents and build a career. We also apply the ‘special talents’ concept in our retail formulas. Our two internal job coaches provide personalised guidance programmes for employees and their managers.
Staff with a migration background
In 2021, we continued stimulating the inflow and promotion of employees with a migration background, for example by running a new recruitment campaign with role models, installing a diversity committee, rolling out procedures for anonymous application and unprejudiced selection, and organising workshops to raise awareness. We have also intensified our collaboration with Agora Network and the ECHO Foundation, for example by launching a mentoring programme. These efforts have resulted in a larger share for members of this group of employees in all sections of the organisation, although we are still short of the desired level.
In collaboration with the UAF foundation, we gave four asylum permit holders the opportunity to gain work experience with NS. In addition, ten NS employees acted as mentors for ten UAF clients to help them improve their chances on the labour market. We are also encouraging the intake of migrants in regular job vacancies and traineeships through intensive cooperation with UAF, the Dutch Council for Refugees and municipalities.