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Economy

Female CEOs v. Peter CEOs? Dutch Women Protest Stunning Gender Disparity

A campaign in the Netherlands is pushing for more gender parity in the business world by asking women to change their name on LinkedIn to "Peter." The name was chosen for this singularly shocking fact...

Female CEOs v. Peter CEOs? Dutch Women Protest Stunning Gender Disparity

Yeliz Çiçek, editor-in-chief of the Dutch edition of Vogue, was one of the first women to join the campaign

Meike Eijsberg

Logging onto Dutch LinkedIn earlier this week, you may have blinked twice. “Why are there so many people named ‘Peter’ on my timeline?”And why are they all women?”


Hundreds of Dutch women have changed their LinkedIn name to Peter since Monday to denounce the unequal gender representation in the workplace — especially in senior leadership roles.

The initiative was launched by Women Inc. and BrandedU, two organizations campaigning for more inclusion of women in the business world, — and zeroed in on the name Peter for good reason: with 93 listed companies in the Netherlands (and a total of 94 CEOs), five of those CEOs are named Peter, and four are women. Yes, more Peter CEOs than women CEOs...

Burden of proof

On January 1, a Dutch law came into force with the goal of ensuring a better ratio of men to women in the top ranks of the business world. At least one-third of the supervisory boards of listed companies (with more than 250 employees) must consist of women. “But we must do more!” the organizations stated.

Yeliz Çiçek, editor-in-chief of the Dutch edition of Vogue, was one of the first women to join the campaign and changed her name. “I think it’s brilliant. Everyone immediately understands what this is about!”, NOS reports.

Although they support the cause, others are less enthusiastic about this campaign and argue that changing one’s name erases one’s identity, according to RTL nieuws. “Once again, the burden of proof and effort for the campaign lies with women and not men,” one woman said.

Men change to Petra

At the same time, some men have changed their name to Petra in solidarity.

“We think this spontaneous action is really great,” another spokesperson of Women INC said according to Het Parool. “This shows that it’s not just a women’s problem, but that we have to do it together.”

The Peter (and Petra) campaign runs until January 28.

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Geopolitics

China Is Recruiting Former NATO Pilots — Is That OK?

A Parliamentary committee that oversees German intelligence services is questioning Beijing increasing recruitment activities of those who know Western weaponry best. This raises a fundamental strategic question as China-West tensions grow .

German air forces conducting exercises.

A Tornado fighter pilot of the air force squadron 33 from Büchel rolls after the landing on the air base of the tactical air force.

© Rainer Jensen via Zuma Press
Lennart Pfahler, Tim Röhn

BERLIN — The German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Supervisory Committee meets in private. It is rare for any details of the discussions between delegates, who oversee the activities of the German intelligence services, to leak to the outside world.

But in the past week, the Committee very deliberately broke its usual vow of silence. In a public statement, delegates called for stricter regulations for government employees whose jobs relate to matters of security, when they make the move to the private sector.

Above all, the committee said that engaging in work for a foreign power should “automatically qualify as a breach of the obligation to secrecy for civil servants with jobs related to matters of security."

One reason for the unusual announcement: growing concerns about Chinese efforts to recruit former German military and intelligence officers.

In security circles, the word is that the Beijing regime is showing a marked interest in operational and tactical information from the West. Beijing is looking to recruit NATO pilots, with the aim of honing fighting techniques against Western military planes and helicopters. This recruitment often happens via foreign flying schools.

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