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, people 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 (in Dutch).
Women at the top
At year-end 2022, women comprised 37% of the senior management at NS (2021: 36%). At that moment, 50% of the members of the Supervisory Board were female and the Executive Board had one female member (20%). As such, with respect to its Executive Board, NS does not comply with Article 5.2.3 of the National Government Participations Policy Memorandum (Nota Deelnemingenbeleid Rijksoverheid 2022). According to that policy, women should make up at least one third of the Executive Board. NS is aware of this imbalance and intends to redress it as soon as possible so that it will eventually comply once again with the requirement.
A study in 2022 demonstrated once again that there is no pay gap between men and women at NS. In the study, we made sure to take factors such as the number of contact hours and age into account.
Staff with occupational disabilities
In 2022, NS had 170 employees with an occupational disability in what are known as participatory jobs (2020: 131). Of these employees, 142 were still in employment at the end of December. Due to shortages on the labour market and COVID-19 restrictions it proved a real challenge to attract sufficient numbers of new colleagues with an occupational disability. At the end of 2022, 6 job vacancies for this target group had not yet been filled. We train internal employees and managers in providing guidance for colleagues with an occupational disability. We also offer the latter career guidance sessions, workshops and training programmes to help them build their careers within NS or elsewhere.
Staff with a migration background
In 2022, we continued our efforts to promote the inflow and internal advancement of staff with a migration background. For example, we staged a new labour market campaign with role models and offered mentoring programmes with the Agora Network and the ECHO Foundation, which are both organisations in the field of diversity. In addition, we continued the roll-out of methods that enable anonymous job applications and ensure unprejudiced selection, and organised special workshops to raise awareness.
In 2022,we also launched a new technical work-study programme at vocational education level for 15 asylum permit holders, as part of the Zaanstraat project at our maintenance centre in Haarlem. We offer employees a learning track, support in specialist terminology, workplace guidance and development opportunities. RefugeeWork is a new initiative in which we offer extra opportunities for people with a refugee background in our retail formulas.
In 2022, 12 asylum permit holders were offered a job at vocational/higher professional and university level via the UAF foundation. In addition, 10 NS employees acted as mentors for 10 UAF asylum permit holders 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.
NS has had a Diversity in Senior Positions Committee since 2020. Thanks to the work of this committee, we have seen the number of people with a migration background in our senior management increase from 5 to 14, or from 2.2% in 2020 to 6.7% on 1 January 2023. Before we had this committee, the share of this group in senior management never exceeded 3% and very few people with a migration background ever secured a position at this level. Our target is to appoint at least five new employees with a migration background in a senior position every year.