Diversity, inclusion and equality


Diversity, equality and inclusion (DIG) together form one of the core themes of the Culture Monitor. In order to do justice to diversity, and to realize inclusion and equality, the cultural sector must also pay attention to deeper problems that maintain inequality, such as racism, discrimination, transgressive behavior and inequality of opportunity. On this page we explore existing research into diversity, inclusion and equality in the Netherlands.


Monitoring diversity, inclusion and equity (DIG) is complex. Quantitative data is often lacking, while it is essential to monitor this data in order to be able to make good policy on this theme. The how and why of monitoring diversity are discussed, as well as the importance of inclusive language and choosing the right categories for research. The use and meaning of the words 'diversity, inclusion and equality' are critically examined. The three words are well known and frequently used, but it often proves difficult to express their meaning in concrete terms.

Furthermore, the most important issues about diversity, inclusion and equality are listed and an up-to-date overview is maintained of the research into this theme that has already been conducted in the Dutch arts and culture sector. Finally, the Tools provide insight into the practical applications surrounding DIG. The Culture Monitor aims to provide guidance to the sector and to anyone who wants to work on monitoring diversity, inclusion and equality within their own organization.

Introduction and importance of the theme

Diversity, inclusion and equality are only becoming more urgent as themes. International movements such as Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, transgressive behavior in public broadcasting en in the music industry, or institutional racism the national government, police and the tax authorities: there are countless examples that clearly show that there is a need for change because not everyone is heard or supported equally in society. Inequality must be combated and more room must be created for diversity.

Due to the urgency of diversity, inclusion and equality, it is important to monitor the state of affairs regarding these themes, but this is proving difficult. The Netherlands is working in various ways to collect data on diversity and inclusion in the cultural sector, but there is still a lack of sector-wide, serial, national or regional figures. While this one Numbers are crucial for identifying long-term trends. In recent years, more and more studies have been published on diversity and inclusion in the cultural sector, often focused on a specific subsector or case.

On this page the Culture Monitor does one reconnaissance of research into diversity, inclusion and equality in the Netherlands. In this analysis we consider the definition of diversity, inclusion and equality, identify a number of sector-wide issues, discuss the complexity of measuring diversity and inclusion, and explore what research questions lie ahead for the future. An up-to-date overview is also maintained of all research into diversity, inclusion and equality that has been conducted in the Dutch cultural sector.

Complexity of measuring diversity and inclusion

The theme 'diversity and inclusion' focuses on the pursuit of representation, accessibility and equality in the cultural sector. The Diversity & Inclusion Code encourages cultural organizations to give substance to the theme. The Code is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), which applies the pursuit of the Code as a subsidy requirement. As a result, all subsidized cultural institutions now include diversity and inclusion in their policy plan. 'Diversity and inclusion' thus emerge as a theme from the subsidy system of the cultural sector and in that sense are a political subject.

The concept of 'equality' is increasingly linked to the concepts of diversity and inclusion. In the English translation 'equity' we know this as part of the concept DEI: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In Dutch this term is often adopted as the abbreviation DIG (Diversity, inclusion and equality). The term diversity is used to indicate that people actually differ from each other on a range of visible and invisible characteristics - consider, for example, (cultural background, disability(s), health, gender, sexuality, religion, socio-economic position, education level, political preference or age. Equivalence (equity) is about equal treatment tailored to all these various personal characteristics - equality does not mean that everyone gets equal and fair opportunities. Consider, for example, the pay gap between men and Vrouwen, or equal opportunities on the labor market regardless of one's background. Equality is therefore a condition for this inclusion, which refers to the way in which those actual differences and similarities between people are dealt with. In an inclusive environment, accessibility (physical, content and digital) is guaranteed for everyone and all people feel welcome, safe and respected.

'Diversity and inclusion' are now also regulated as hype or as 'cozy words' stamped– this has to do with the fact that, although organizations are working on the theme with all the good intentions, there is still too little structural change taking place within these organizations and sector-wide. While the subject has been on the policy agenda for decades. There is a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion, but organizations still often struggle with putting their good intentions into practice - as shown by, among other things, Research Theater Including (Haeren et al. 2022) and from conversations held with the sector for this theme page. The terms diversity and inclusion are broad and all-encompassing, which means... (that's how the criticism goes)the conversation in the cultural and creative sector is not about what we need to talk about: discrimination, racism and institutional racism, unconscious prejudice (or bias), transgressive behavior, inequality of opportunity, microaggression, homophobia, Islamophobia, whiteness, sexism, colonial knowledge structures and other forms of exclusion and inequality. Language – for identifying these problems and not shying away from discomfort – plays an essential role if the cultural sector wants to combat structural inequality (see, for example, Noor 2022, Nourhussen 2022 and Samuel 2023).

(Western) colonialism has left traces in our thinking about knowledge, about art and literature and philosophy, about science and ideology (Coppen 2021). Colonial knowledge structures are still present in the Netherlands, where a Eurocentric view, but also the thinking and acting from a 'superior' position of leading (knowledge) institutions, determines the question of what the value of knowledge is and where different forms of knowledge can be found. knowledge comes from. To change this, there is an increasingly louder call for 'decolonization' of the cultural sector. Decolonization is not just about throwing away the colonial project, it is about how people still struggle with the ideology of colonialism today (Baboeram 2022, Debeuckelaere 2019). As a knowledge center for art, culture and policy, the Boekman Foundation strives to critically question what it means to collect knowledge about art and cultural policy and to monitor certain indicators in the Culture Monitor.

What are recent sector-wide issues?

The increased need for data on diversity, inclusion and equality also means that more and more studies have been published in recent years on various topics within the theme. A number of these topics are recurring and can currently be seen as the most important issues within the theme.

Gender inequality

Research is being conducted into gender inequality, distinction or discrimination in various sectors. For example, in recent years research has been conducted into the position of female artists in the visual arts (Haeren et al. 2024), into gender distinction in the VSCD Theater Awards in the theater sector (Hoilu Fradique et al.2022), becoming the position of women in the period 2011-2020 depicted for the film and television sector (Sanders 2022). Quantitative data about diversity or representation from a intersectional approach is still often lacking, but when it comes to gender (and often only the binary gender categories of man and woman are used) we see relatively more data available. For example, CBS keeps data on the working hours per week of men and women for creative and linguist professions.

Transgressive behavior and social safety

Since #MeTooIn 2017, international solidarity with the movement against transgressive behavior increased sharply. In 2017, international solidarity with the movement against transgressive behavior increased sharply. There are also numerous examples in the Dutch cultural sector of cases of transgressive behavior that have come to light in recent years (Rijn et al 2024, Leden 2021a, Leden 2022). Mores.online, the independent reporting center for unwanted behavior in the cultural and creative sector, was founded in 2018 to handle the growing number of reports. However, at the beginning of 2023, the entire board resigned suspicions of conflict of interest. A new board was then established in September 2023 with members who have no direct ties to the cultural sector. They will continue to shape Mores.online in the coming years (RCGOG 2023, Mores.online 2023).

The Council for Culture issued the advice in June 2022 Across the border in which he made a number of observations and recommendations. For example, the Council observed that inappropriate behavior is not only about sexual harassment, but also about other forms of undesirable behavior such as bullying, intimidation, racism and discrimination on the basis of skin color, religion, gender or other personal characteristics. In the cultural sector, there are also often gatekeepers (such as curators, teachers at art courses or artistic directors) who grant access to the field, which can lead to power relations and unsafe situations. Furthermore, the Council sees a lack of inclusion within the sector, a culture of silence when it comes to transgressive behavior, risks in art education and a lack of structures aimed at social safety (Council for Culture 2022a).

Social safety is about making shared norms explicit so that undesirable behavior can be recognized or prevented and thus a safe (work) environment can be created and maintained. Social safety is therefore a prerequisite for the prevention of transgressive behavior. Research into this, for example, was conducted in the media and culture sector and in the Rotterdam cultural sector.


Cultural institutions must be accessible to everyone, regardless of capabilities or limitations (Bilo 2020, 7). However, this is often not the case. For people with a physical disability, consider obstacles such as stairs, thresholds and doors in cultural buildings, or the lack of support for visually impaired and hearing-impaired people (Leden 2021b). For example, offering a low-stimulus environment is also rarely done (Haeren et al. 2022, 48). In her Multi-year letter 2023-2025 State Secretary Uslu appoints, among other things, additional investments in accessibility to remove both visible and invisible barriers (Uslu 2022). For example, studies into accessibility in the cultural sector include:  Rijksmuseum: unlimited access (Denekamp et al. 2022), Not accessible for a long time(Vermeij et al. 2021), Access to art and culture for people with disabilities (Members 2021b) and Accessibility of cultural institutions for people with disabilities (Bilo 2020).


In the cultural sector, more and more institutions want to have insight into the 'degree of diversity' or representation in their organization, be it in their workforce or in the public. Research into representation is therefore usually tailor-made and carried out at organizational or industry level. See, for example, CBS's research into cultural diversity Rijksmuseum or for Report book industry measurement 57: diversity theme measurement (Nagelhout et al. 2021). At a sector-wide level, CBS maintains the Monitor Artists and other workers with a creative profession in which 'diversity' figures can be found about artists and other workers with a creative profession by age, gender, migration background and position in the household (CBS 2021). We will discuss monitoring diversity or representation in more detail in Chapter 4 of this analysis.


Decolonization and dismantling power structures that maintain white privilege are an important topic of research and discussion in the cultural sector (as described above in Chapter 2). The Council for Culture issued the advice in 2020 Colonial collections and recognition of injustice from and several museums have since announced that they are conducting investigations into theirs collections. However, decolonization is not just about returning artifacts that have been removed from the country of origin by the Dutch occupier, it is about recognizing and then rejecting colonial ideology from which policies and institutions have been built and still operate - also in the cultural sector (Coppen 2021).

That recognition and apology were expressed in 2022 and 2023 by respectively. outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem Alexander, prior to the Remembrance Year Slavery Past (July 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024). With this commemorative year, the national government hopes to contribute to the continued increase of knowledge and connection in society. The cabinet initially made 2 million euros available for organizing activities during the Remembrance Year (Central Government 2022). The government later announced that it would make at least 4 million additional euros available to facilitate cultural, social and educational activities from society for the commemoration of the Commemoration Year of the History of Slavery, resulting in a total of 6 million is available (Mondriaan Fund 2023).

Broad cultural understanding

'Culture belongs to and for everyone,' former minister Van Engelshoven wrote in her letter Principles of Cultural Policy 2021-2024. Former State Secretary Uslu filled in for her Principles for Cultural Subsidies 2025-2028 adds that: 'the government stands for a diverse, broad cultural offer of high quality, which is accessible to everyone' (Uslu 2023). This also included an expansion of the basic infrastructure: new developments, missing genres and associated audiences also had to be given a place (such as urban arts, design, pop music and festivals). Broadening our understanding of culture is crucial if we want to portray all cultural forms and their participants. The Council for Culture recently issued the advice Access to culture: towards a new order in 2029 published on how the cultural system can be renewed from 2029 to contribute as best as possible to a rich cultural life for everyone in the Netherlands (Council for Culture 2024).

Role of the cultural funds

An important part of the cultural sector is dependent on financial support from governments and public or private funds. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has made it mandatory to subscribe to and apply the Diversity & Inclusion Code for cultural institutions that fall under the basic cultural infrastructure (BIS) and that are designated by the National culture fundsare supported - in addition, private funds for culture such as the VSB fund are also actively involved in diversity and inclusion. Local authorities are also increasingly emphasizing the importance of complying with the Diversity & Inclusion Code. Governments and funds therefore also play a role in managing and testing diversity, inclusion and equality. There are currently no sanctions for non-compliance with the Code; organizations will still receive their subsidies.

In April 2023, the Council for Culture released it Advice on application and assessment procedure BIS advice 2025-2028 in which the Council advocates stricter monitoring of compliance with the Diversity and Inclusion Code by cultural institutions when assessing a subsidy application (Council for Culture 2023). In June 2023, former State Secretary Uslu responded to this in her Basic principles of cultural subsidies 2025-2028, in which it does not accept the advice for stricter control. A statement showing that the Diversity and Inclusion Code is endorsed by the institution is sufficient. Only failure to subscribe to the Fair Practice code becomes a ground for refusal for the inclusion of cultural institutions in the BIS scheme (Uslu 2023).

In the aforementioned advice for a new culture system in 2029, the Council for Culture proposes combining the six national culture funds into one fund (Council for Culture 2024). Further elaboration of this advice will have to show what the consequences are for diversity, inclusion and equality in the sector.

Uneven progress

The next observation following conversations with experts from the sector is that there is a difference in the progress of achieving diversity and inclusion per cultural domain, but also per organization within a cultural domain. A lot is already happening in the performing arts sector representationto ensure accessibility and inclusion (although there is still far too much to do). winning falls, but mainly runs the games sector behind this. It went further Research Theater Including see, for example, that progress in the field of diversity, inclusion and equality at the nineteen participating theaters and theater companies in the Theater Inclusief incentive program could differ greatly (Haeren et al. 2022).

Future research

In addition to existing studies, a number of studies have been announced for the near future.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) presented the OCW agenda against discrimination and racism, in which it announces, among other things, that it will set up a monitoring and evaluation strategy in the near future to monitor the effectiveness of the actions taken by the ministry against discrimination and racism, so that timely adjustments can be made where necessary (Dijkgraaf 2022).

Women in Focus is done in collaboration with Utrecht University research into income differences between female and male professionals in the audiovisual sector within the research project 'Experiences and perspectives of female film and television professionals'. This trajectory contains five in-depth ones onderzoeken to promote gender equality and visibility of women and to raise awareness about gender (in)equality. The research publications are expected in the summer of 2024.

An important focus for future research is intersectionality (intersection thinking), a theoretical framework that provides insight into how different dimensions of a person's social position (such as gender, ethnicity, orientation, age, religion, socio-economic position) determine how people and groups in society differ from and respond to each other (BKB 2021 ). Research from an intersectional perspective takes multiple axes into account and thus offers a more inclusive, multi-faceted view; inequality of opportunity has many dimensions. Many existing studies lack these intersectional data and perspectives.

Monitoring diversity, inclusion and equality

Why and how should we measure diversity, inclusion and equality?

The cultural and creative sectors share a need to research and collect data on diversity, inclusion and equality. This is particularly important at organizational level, where, for example, one wants to gain insight into the representation of (local) society in one's own workforce, or the extent to which a diverse and broad audience is reached. This increased need for data moves with the trend of increased attention to the theme, and could also be explained by the mandatory subscription to the Diversity & Inclusion Code for subsidized cultural institutions. Organizations, policymakers and subsidies want to know where they stand in the field of diversity and inclusion so that they can adjust policy accordingly. In onderzoeken we see that customization is often provided, depending on the organization, industry or sector being investigated. It becomes clear that there is no sector-wide consensus on how, for example, representation (or diversity) should be measured and that customization is needed to gain insight into the questions that organizations themselves have.

Except the question how diversity, inclusion and equality must be measured, there is also the why -question: for example, organizations choose, for ethical reasons, not to ask their staff about their background and to measure this - this is evident from conversations with the sector for the Culture Monitor, but also (on a small scale) from the Research Theater Including. The answer to that one why question should be clear: we need to measure data on racism, discrimination, inequality, accessibility and transgressive behavior, among other things, in order to make these problems visible, to substantiate them and to be able to formulate policy on them (on the four P's of the public, staff, programming and partners) and then monitor progress towards improvement.

But quantitative data on, for example, social class or ethnicity on the labor market is still lacking - while these figures are of great importance in the cultural sector. This is especially true for sector-wide data; More and more organizations are conducting internal research into diversity, inclusion and equality. However, this data is often not public and there is rarely a sector-wide approach to collect data jointly and in the same way. The fact that there are not yet sector-wide, serial, national or regional figures regarding diversity, inclusion and equality is partly due to the complexity of measuring this in the light of Dutch legislation. Two examples of this complexity are working with personal data and categorization in research (this is explained below).

Sensitivity of personal data

Personal data is often protected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore cannot simply be collected. For example, there are target group segmentation systems that enable institutions to enrich audience data with customer segments from an external agency, such as Whooz of Motivaction. However, it is important that data is collected systematically and that it is comparable for different organizations (national or local). That is why in 2021 the Public Data Partnership Task Force launched under the leadership of DEN Knowledge Institute for Culture & Digital Transformation. This Taskforce is working on standardization and working towards a national system of target group segmentation focused on culture until the end of 2024 (DEN zj).

In particular, the collection of personal data about cultural organizations' own workforce can be sensitive and employees can feel uncomfortable, disadvantaged or pigeonholed - this picture is confirmed by conversations with the sector and is evident, for example, from Research Theater Inclusive: final analysis, in which several theater organizations indicate that they do not want to ask about someone's background for moral reasons. Here the discomfort outweighs the importance of collecting data that map representation and exclusion - while these are crucial, also at a micro level for organizations themselves, to gain insight into the state of affairs, progress or decline and to adapt policy accordingly. can fit. With her State of the TheaterIn September 2022, Alida Dors advocated exposing everyone's background, having previously written about this blog on the Diversity & Inclusion Code website (Dors 2022). Collecting such data may also be used to combat racism and discrimination (Schipper 2023).

The problem with categories and the importance of problem definition

Monitoring diversity is complex. In addition to the sensitivity regarding personal data, the way in which people (or human difference) are categorized in research, and the words we use for this, also play a role (read the example of the CBS categories below under 'Inclusive language use is crucial'). It is also desirable to take this into account intersectional dimensions in research. That is to say: there are different dimensions of someone's social position on which social inequality can occur (such as gender, ethnicity, orientation, age, religion, socio-economic position). This dimensions determine how people and groups in society differ from each other and respond to each other (BKB 2021).

Monitoring diversity, like any other measurement, by definition requires compartmentalization - at the same time this is preferably avoided because of unconscious prejudices and discrimination. To gain a better insight into the categories of research when measuring diversity in the cultural sector, Jasmijn Rana and Anouk de Koning conducted a survey in 2021 small-scale qualitative research (Rana et al. 2023). About the compartmentalization that accompanies this, they say:

'Measuring means recording and, as many interviewees said, putting things into boxes. Both people 'with a migration background' and people 'without' felt uncomfortable about this. This is a deeply felt dilemma: you can't reduce a person to a characteristic, and for many that was what happened. (…) Such categorization remains a form of symbolic violence: constantly being seen as different, less, as not yourself, but your background. But: if we do not define and measure, we cannot create effective policy and check whether there really is more diversity within the sector' (Rana et al. 2022).

In this way they clearly address the dilemma of the inconvenience surrounding measurement and the necessity for it. Furthermore, Rana and De Koning reveal that in the Netherlands, for example, data relating to gender are collected in the field of the labor market, but that ethnoracial disadvantage or exclusion in the labor market is not or hardly identified. 'Measuring inequality along ethnoracial lines creates a lot of resistance, not only because of compartmentalization, but also because it makes whiteness visible as an invisible norm and privilege. This is uncomfortable for many', the researchers address the underlying problem (Ibid.). The recommendation of these researchers is to provide tailor-made research into diversity at an organizational level. It is not necessary for everyone to use the same categories or terms, because for each institution (slightly) different aspects of diversity, representation or discrimination may be important to portray. At a sectoral level, they note a greater need for unity in measuring diversity - which is currently often sought CBS categories that are defined top-down and based on place of birth. Instead, Rana and De Koning argue for starting from self-identification, in a more crude way Categories that can monitor forms of hierarchy and exclusion. In addition, they noted that the diversity policy that organizations outline (following the Diversity & Inclusion Code) often lacks a clear problem analysis that focuses on which problem the policy must address. This is also important when conducting research into diversity and inclusion: clarifying the problem, what exactly needs to be monitored and what the desired change is.

The picture that Rana and De Koning paint is confirmed in discussions with the sector for this theme page. There is fragmentation in the sector when it comes to the way of measuring diversity. There is (yet) no clear consensus on a solution to this. On the one hand, there is a need for a responsible party that should oversee the collection of comparable data, a party that 'stands above the sector'. It would be desirable if the sector started measuring in the same way. On the other hand, the importance of delivering customization is heard at the micro level – every organization should measure in its own way in order to surface the most relevant and applicable data for them. In any case, it becomes clear that monitoring diversity and inclusion is essential for good policy.

Inclusive language use is crucial

Language shapes the way we think. It is therefore very important to be alert to inclusive language if you want equal, representative and accessible research perform and present. The focus is often on gender equality or neutrality in language, where the masculine form is still dominant. However, inclusive language should not be limited to just that. The point is to be aware of all expressions in language use that continuously confirm norms that are dominant but dated - because such language use perpetuates stereotypes and/or exclusion.

Using the words 'diversity' and 'inclusion' works against addressing the problems that the theme actually brings to the table. Diversity and inclusion are often seen as one positive theme, everyone is in favor of it and everyone wants to work on it: because 'culture belongs to and for everyone', said former Minister Van Engelshoven of OCW (Engelshoven 2019). But discussing racism, discrimination, prejudice or whiteness is a lot more difficult, painful and can be grating. It is precisely attributing the right language to these problems that can help promote change. And vice versa, it can 'beat around the bush' with only 'cosy terms' such as diversity and inclusion change stand in the way of. Using the right language, terms and categories in research and policy is therefore crucial.

Monitoring diversity now also creates more awareness about the sensitivity of language and which categories are useful and desirable for research. We see this, for example, in CBS's decision to replace the word migration background with 'origin' and to abandon the use of the categories 'Western' and 'non-Western'. Instead, from 2022 onwards, CBS will (retroactively) use a classification of the population by origin, which takes into account the country of birth of a person and his or her parents. Yet we still see colonial history in this classification: CBS divides the countries of origin into four levels, with the 'classic migration countries' (including Suriname, Indonesia and the Dutch Caribbean) forming their own category. Measuring the integration of immigrants in itself and the division it creates between people from 'here' and 'there' can be understood as a colonial thought structure, as Willem Schinkel also critically noted (Schinkel 2018). This example from CBS also makes visible how sensitive choosing the right language and therefore categories for research is, and that these choices also unintentionally create prejudices or inequality. maintained and even nourished could be.


There are currently no long-term and large-scale quantitative data on representation (or diversity), inclusion and equality in the cultural sector that can be monitored in the Culture Monitor. That is why we bring together on this page the most important (small-scale) qualitative and quantitative studies into diversity, inclusion and equality in the cultural sector – at the cultural sector-wide, domain-specific and local level. In addition, developments and wishes in the discourse regarding research into diversity and inclusion are collected from the sector and brought together on this page. With this, the Culture Monitor wants to provide guidance to the sector and to anyone who is looking for how to start monitoring diversity, equality and inclusion in their own organization.

What research and data do we still need?

We need quantitative data on representation, inclusion and equality in the cultural sector, figures that can be monitored serially at national or local level. The basis for this is still lacking and there is a clear need for it. This requires both customization at organizational level and a sector-wide approach to collect data in the same way. In addition, a number of other research needs emerge from discussions with the sector.

There is a need for more insight into the responsibility that people feel about inclusion. What is the awareness about inclusion, and how great is the intrinsic desire to become truly inclusive? Are initially white institutions really changing, are institutions willing to change their structures? This is not yet clear.

In addition, there is the question of to what extent organizations continue to cling to the 'hype' of diversity and inclusion. For example, once there are more people of color in the workforce of an organization where whiteness is dominant, are the organizations successful in retaining these employees, or are they leaving due to a lack of inclusion and equality?

And how does the government itself, by supporting institutions and artists in the BIS and through the National Culture Funds, implement the Diversity & Inclusion Code? Which parties have knowledge of the subsidy options, which parties apply for subsidy and who ultimately receives financing? For example, to what extent is it important that applicants speak the 'language of the funds' and have some experience in writing grant applications? In short: what about accessibility and equality of opportunity for different applicants for cultural subsidies? These questions are also part of the report Access to culture: towards a new order in 2029 of the Council for Culture (Council for Culture 2024).

What are future wishes for this page?

In the coming years we will continue to pay extra attention to the theme of diversity, inclusion and equality on this page. These topics cut across all themes discussed in the Culture Monitor (from professional practice, culture and participation to culture in the region) and domains (from heritage to games or performing arts). That is why we try to reflect trends and developments in the field of topics regarding diversity, inclusion and equality in each of the reports in the different domains. Because diversity, inclusion and equality also form an overarching issue, they also deserve their own landing page where information about the theme is bundled.

In the future, we hope to be able to make quantitative datasets on diversity, inclusion and equality available in the Culture Monitor, but the reality is that there is currently no clear insight into the creation of such long-term (sector-wide) datasets. Government encouragement of partnerships between research institutions in this regard could promote this. The Knowledge Agenda, compiled by the Boekman Foundation, includes the democratization of diversity also discussed (Knol et al. 2022).

In the Culture Monitor we will investigate how we can collect multi-voiced knowledge in the future, with the aim that data about culture relates to all 'layers' of society. Furthermore, the exploration of research into diversity, equality and inclusion in the cultural sector on this page will be kept as up to date as possible.


The list below contains tools that provide tools for various practical applications of diversity, inclusion and equality within organizations and policies.

Step-by-step plan for Diversity & Inclusion Code (Diversity & Inclusion Code, n.d.)
Gain insight into where your organization stands when it comes to diversity, inclusion and equality, create an action plan based on the four Ps: program, audience, staff and partners, and monitoring progress and results.

From words to actions: a guide to an inclusive organization (Denktas et al. 2023)
This book is a practical guide to promoting diversity and inclusion within organizations. It offers concrete tips and insights for designing, implementing and evaluating interventions and policies. Various chapters discuss, among other things, connection and involvement, inclusive organizational culture and communication, HR policy, monitoring and research, and inclusive leadership.

Map of inclusive performing arts (LKCA 2022).
Map with an overview of what is happening in the Netherlands in the field of inclusive performing arts. The map can also be helpful in seeking collaboration or finding experienced experts.

Matrix for assessing diversity plans in the cultural sector (Rana et al. 2023)
Through the matrix, organizations can effectively evaluate their diversity plans and map progress. This tool offers organizations concrete guidelines for measuring, assessing and visualizing diversity.

Working materials: practical tools and practical examples about diversity, accessibility, equality and inclusion (Together Inclusive, n.d.)
This collection of practical tools and real-life examples on diversity, accessibility, equality and inclusion, were collected during the 'Together Inclusive' programme. Each case study concludes with contact details and relevant links, providing a network based on shared experiences.

You are also not allowed to say anything anymore: a new language for a new time (Samuel 2023)
This book uses humor to highlight the ways in which language can be inclusive or exclusive and how we can change that. It is a guide for anyone who strives for an inclusive, safe and accessible environment, teaching us how to communicate in a value-oriented way.

Roadmap for accessible festivals (Coalition for Inclusion 2023)
Roadmap for accessible festivals, intended as a guideline to make festivals more accessible for people with disabilities.

Self-scan: festival unhindered (Coalition for Inclusion, et al., n.d.)
Do the self-scan within 5 minutes and gain insight into the accessibility of your festival or event. The scan is based on the Roadmap for accessible festivals. There are practical tips on how accessibility can be improved, and it is possible to receive these tips in a report after the scan.

The incomplete style guide (WOMEN Inc. 2023)
This guide promotes an inclusive society by providing insight into innovative language use and the redefinition of existing words. It is committed to inclusive stories and images, breaking through limiting stereotypes. The guide shows how WOMEN Inc. works on this and reflects on their ongoing learning process, given the rapid development of language and continuous evolution of discussions.

Researching diversity, inclusion and equality in the Dutch cultural sector

The bibliography below contains sources of research into inclusion and diversity in the Dutch cultural sector, classified by 'Cultural sector-wide', 'Domain-specific' and 'Local', in chronological order.

Cultural sector-wide

CBS (2023) Barometer of cultural diversity. The Hague: Central Bureau of Statistics.

Meijer, E. (et al.) (2023) Irreplaceable: the innovative power of The Culture. The Hague: UNESCO.

Rana, J. and A. de Koning (2023) Measuring diversity: a step towards more meaningful definition and measurement. In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2023, no. 41, 1-31.

White, N. de (et al.) (2023) Exploration of discrimination and racism in sport and culture. Utrecht: Verwey-Jonker Institute, Mulier Institute, LKCA, Movisie.

Janssen, S. and M. Verdooi (2022) 'Culture of and for everyone?' Cultural diversity and cultural participation in the migration society, In: The migration society. Migration and diversity as a Gordian knot. Amsterdam: Boom Uitgevers.

Council for Culture (2022) Across the border: towards a shared culture. The Hague: Council for Culture.

Tieben, B. and M. Flanders (2022) Gender Diversity Monitor 2022. Amsterdam: SEO.

Veldwiesch, N. (2022) Unlimited visibility in the Netherlands? A comparative study into the inclusion of people with disabilities within cultural policy. Groningen: Master's thesis, University of Groningen

Leden, J. (2022) Undesirable behavior in the cultural sector, what next? In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2022, no. 35, 1-11.

Leden, J. (2021) Transgressive behavior in the cultural sector, In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2021, no. 27, 1-14.

Leden, J. van (2021) Access to art and culture for people with disabilities, In: Boekman extra, jrg. 2021, no. 29. 1-14.

CBS (2021) Monitor artists and other workers with a creative profession, 2021. The Hague: Central Bureau of Statistics.

Samuel, M. (2021) Values ​​for a new language. Utrecht: Diversity and Inclusion Code.

Vermeij, L. and W. Hamelink (2021) Not accessible for a long time: experiences of Dutch people with a physical disability as a mirror of society. The Hague: Social and Cultural Planning Office.

Bilo, N. (et al.) (2020) Accessibility of cultural institutions for people with disabilities: interim report, inventory. The Hague: Significant APE.

Vermeulen, M. (2020) Growing towards more inclusion in the cultural sector: from Theory of Change to measurement plan. Rotterdam: Impact Center Erasmus.

Jongerius, M. (et al.) (2020) Experience unlimited culture: final reportThe Hague: Significant APE.

Molen, Y. van der (2020) The more the merrier: analysis of diversity and inclusion within the BIS and heritage institutions. Report of a research internship at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (2019) Unlimited participation: progress report 2019. The Hague: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Veen, S. van der (et al.) (2019) Research into diversity in the cultural sector: research into the diversity of boards and staff of multi-year subsidized art and cultural institutions and subsidy advisors [visual representation]. The Hague: APE.

Eijck, K. van and E. Bisschop Boele (2018) From the canon and the mosquito: an inventory of insights surrounding the cultural non-visitor: note written on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Modest, W. and R. Lelijveld (2018) Words matter: an incomplete guide to word choice within the cultural sector. National Museum of World Cultures Foundation.

Veen, S. van der (et al.) (2018) Research into diversity in the cultural sector: research into the diversity of boards and staff of multi-year subsidized art and cultural institutions and subsidy advisors. The Hague: APE.

Veen, S. van der and N. Bilo (2018) Research diversity in the cultural sector: breakdowns of BIS institutions and non-BIS institutionsThe Hague: APE.

Domain specific

Crone, V. et al. (2023) You can't be what you can't see: diversity and inclusivity in film and AV. Amsterdam: DSP group.

CBS (2023) Cultural diversity Rijksmuseum 2022. The Hague: Central Bureau of Statistics

Olfers, M. et al. (2023) Shadow dancing: a study into transgressive behavior in dancing. Driebergen-Rijsenburg: Verinorm.

Together Inclusive (2023) 'Together Inclusive: working together on more diverse, accessible and inclusive science museums and science centers' On: www.samen-clus.nl.

VPNF (2023) Music venues and festivals in 2022 figures. Amsterdam: VNPF.

Bruijn, Y. de, and J. Mesman (2022) Diversity and collection development at the school library. Amsterdam: Reading Foundation.

Denekamp, ​​C. and P. Kintz (2022) Rijksmuseum: unlimited access. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum.

CBS (2022)'Cultural diversity Rijksmuseum, 2020 and 2021'. On: www.cbs.nl, 24th of June.

Haeren, M. van and S. Roosblad (2022) Research Theater Inclusive: final analysis. Amsterdam: Boekman Foundation.

Hoilu Fradique, D. et al. (2022) Each plays [her/their/his] role and gets [their/his/its] share: a study of the gender distinction in the VSCD Theater Awards. Amsterdam: Blueyard, VSCD.

Mulder, M. (2022) The Dutch live music monitor 2008-2019: pop concerts and festivals in the era between streaming and closure. Rotterdam: Knowledge Center Creating 010, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Erasmus Research Center for Media, Communication and Culture.

Women Inc. (2022) An untold story: exploratory research into gender (in)equality in the art world. Amsterdam: Women Inc, ABN Amro.

Marinelli, C. and L. Herschoe (2022) Map of inclusive performing arts. Utrecht: LKCA.

Motivaction (2022). Exploration of inclusive heritage lines. The Hague: Province of South Holland.

Rammeloo, J. et al. (2022) Diversity and inclusion in the book market: an exploratory study. Amsterdam: KVB Boekwerk

Sanders, W. (2022) Better is not yet good: the position of women in the film and television sector 2011-2022. Utrecht: Women in Focus, Utrecht University.

Visser, N. et al. (2022) A Distant Reading of Gender Bias in Dutch Literary Prizes. Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Nagelhout, E. and C. Richards (2021) Report book industry measurement 57: diversity theme measurement. Amsterdam: KVB, Intomart Gfk

Scholtens, J. (et al.) (2021) Representation of women in Dutch non-fiction television programs in 2019 and 2021: research report commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Hilversum: Media Authority.

Borg, L. ter (2020) 'Dutch art museums: diversity is policy, but the director is always white'. On: www.nrc.nl, 17th of June.

Gemert, S. van and N. Feenstra (2020) What you see is you: decolonial homework for tour guide and museum. Amsterdam, Eindhoven: STUDIO i.

Wigbertson, JI, Moore, RA and S. Maas (2020) Baseline: a baseline measurement of queerness in Dutch museums. Amsterdam: STUDIO i.

Feenstra, N. (2019) Visitor trip or travel organization: the importance of relationships within the museum organization for an accessible and inclusive museum visit. Amsterdam, Eindhoven: STUDIO i, Van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Kerchman, A. and P. Salet (2019) The position of women artists in four art disciplines in the Netherlands. A report for Mama Cash by Astrid Kerchman and Pauline Salet. Amsterdam: Mama Cash.

Kolsteeg, J. (2019) 'Inclusivity is the practice: Grand Theater Groningen'. In: Boekman Extra, no. 19, 1-11.

Scholtens, J. and E. Lauf (2019) Representation of men and women in Dutch non-fiction television programs: research report commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Hilversum: Media Authority.

Vermeulen, M. (et al.) (2019) Measuring inclusion in museums: a case study on cultural engagement with young people with a migrant background in Amsterdam, In: The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, no. 12, 1-26.

Nijkamp, ​​J. and M. Cardol (2018) Literature research including theater: examples and dilemmas. Rotterdam: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Nijkamp, ​​J. and M. Cardol (2018) Audience research including theater at Theater Babel Rotterdam: research among visitors to the performance 'The dream café'Rotterdam: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Nijkamp, ​​J. (et al.) (2018) Research into inclusive theater: proceeds from the symposium of June 8, 2018, organized by Theater Babel Rotterdam and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Disability Studies professorship; Diversity in ParticipationRotterdam: Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

ACT (et al.) (2016) Advice to promote diversity in the film and television sector; Inventory of practical proposals to promote cultural diversity in the film and television sectorAmsterdam: Dutch Directors Guild.


Gauneau, L. (2023) The cultural wishes and needs of residents of Amsterdam South East. Amsterdam: Municipality of Amsterdam, VU.

Klarenbeek, S. (2022) Research report on social safety in the Rotterdam art and culture sector. Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Zijlstra Center.

Berkers, P. (et al.) (2020) Cultural diversity in the cultural sector of The HagueThe Hague: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Perlstein, S. (et al.) (2020) Research into views on cultural diversity among employees of Rotterdam cultural organizations. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amsterdam Arts Council (2019) Art, cultural diversity and inclusivity in Amsterdam: the next stepAmsterdam: Amsterdam Arts Council.

Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture (2019) Reflections on inclusivity, innovation and interconnectivity: trends in the Rotterdam cultural sector. Rotterdam: Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture.

Berkers, P. (et al.) (2017) Research cultural diversity in the Rotterdam cultural sector. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Want to know more about this theme?

Want to read more about Diversity, equality and inclusion? Click on the following link for a list of available literature in the Knowledge base of the Boekman Foundation.

Previous editions of the text on this theme page can be found here:

Do you have any additions or would you like to discuss research and data on diversity, inclusion and equality with us? Then we would like to hear from you!


Agterberg, R. (2022) 'Success of diversity policy can only be measured through monitoring'. On: www.erasmusmagazine.nl, December 9.

Ahmed, S. (2012) On being included: racism and diversity in institutional life. Durham: Duke University Press.

Arikoglu, F., S. Scheepers and A. Koranteng Kumi (n.d.) Intersectional thinking: manual for professionals who want to apply intersectionality or intersectional thinking in their own organization. Brussels: Ella.

Baboeram, Pr. (2022) From research object to knowledge producer: decolonization within the National Archives. A constructive conversation about decolonization. Amersfoort: National Cultural Heritage Agency.

Beeckmans, J. (2019) 'Eighteen months Mores. An interim score'. On: www.theaterkrant.nl, December 11.

Bell, J.M. and D. Hartmann (2007)'Diversity in everyday discourse: the cultural ambiguities and consequences of “happy talk”'. In: American Sociological Review, volume 72, issue 6.

BKB (2021) Report on intersectionality knowledge tables: exploration of how an intersectional approach can strengthen the preventive approach to racism and discrimination. Amsterdam, The Hague: BKB Campaign Bureau, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

CBS (2022) Integration and coexistence 2022. The Hague: Central Bureau of Statistics

CBS (2021) Monitor artists and other workers with a creative profession, 2021. The Hague: Central Bureau of Statistics.

Jongen, E., J. Bolhaar, R. van Elk et al. (2019) Income inequality by migration background. The Hague: Central Planning Bureau

Coppen, P. (2021) 'Decolonization is no longer just a historical term'. On: www.trouw.nl, October 9.

Debeuckelaere, H. (2019) 'Colonialism lives on in the present. That is why decolonization is important.' On: www.decorrespondent.nl, October 14.

DEN (zj) 'Audience data task force'. On: www.den.nl, nd

Denekemap, C. and P. Kintz (2022) Rijksmuseum: unlimited access. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum.

Denktaş, S., G. de Bruin and J. van den Ring-Bax (2023) From words to actions: a guide to an inclusive organization. Meppel: Boom.

Dijkgraaf, R., Wiersma, D. and Uslu, G. (2022) OCW agenda against discrimination and racism: policy task. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Dors, A. (2022) 'A diverse workforce is not just about the number of black and white employees'. On: www.codedi.nl, 30 March.

Engelshoven, I. van (2019) Principles of Cultural Policy 2021-2024. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Gillham, J., T. Thomas and J. Finney (2021) Ethnicity Pay Gap Report 2021. London: Strategy&, PwC.

Haeren, M. van and S. Roosblad (2022) Research Theater Inclusive: final analysis. Amsterdam: Boekman Foundation.

Halouchi, S. (2023) 'The theater is increasingly full of new audiences'. On: www.nos.nl, 8 January.

Knol, J. and C. Rasterhoff (2023) Cultural and creative sector knowledge agenda 2025-2028. Amsterdam: Boekman Foundation.

Leden, J. van der (2021a) Transgressive behavior in the cultural sector, In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2021, no. 27, 1-14.

Leden, J. van der (2021b) Access to art and culture for people with disabilities, In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2021, no. 29, 1-14.

Leden, J. van der (2022) Undesirable behavior in the cultural sector, what next? In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2022, no. 35, 1-11.

Leden, J. van der (2023) Return of colonial cultural objects: not the end of a process, but a new beginning, In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2023, no. 38.

Marinelli, C. and L. Herschoe (2022) Map of inclusive performing arts. Utrecht: LKCA.

Mondriaan Fund (2023) 'Additional awards for the first round of the commemoration year of the history of slavery announced'. On: www.mondriaanfonds.nl, 30th of June.

Mores.online (2023) 'New board for Mores.online'. On: https://mores.online, nd

Movisie (2019) 'Intersectionality, what should we do with it?'. On: www.movisie.nl, February 25.

Nourhussen, S. (2022) ''Diversity & inclusion'? It has become an industry'. On: www.oneworld.nl, 6th of June.

Noor, S. (2022) 'Working on inclusion is not always pleasant. It needs sanding!'. On: www.nieuwwij.nl, October 6.

Pak, V. (2020) 'Diversity criteria cause anger and impoverishment in the cultural sector'. On: www.ewmagazine.nl, 10 August.

Council for Culture (2022a) Across the border: towards a shared culture. The Hague: Council for Culture.

Council for Culture (2022b) Work program 2022-2023. The Hague: Council for Culture.

Council for Culture (2023) Advice on application and assessment procedure BIS advice 2025-2028. The Hague: Council for Culture.

Council for Culture (2024) Access to culture. On the way to a new order in 2029. The Hague: Council for Culture.

Rana, J. and A. De Koning (2022) 'Diversity in the cultural sector: about the inconvenience and importance of measurement'. In: Boekman, jrg. 2022, no. 133, 42-45.

Rana, J. and A. de Koning (2023) Measuring diversity: a step towards more meaningful definition and measurement. In: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2023, no. 41, 1-31.

Rana, J. and A. de Koning (2023) Matrix for assessing diversity plans in the cultural sector. Attachment from: Boekman Extra, jrg. 2023, no. 41.

RCGOG (2023)'Government Commissioner: further professionalization of the Mores reporting point is necessary'. On: www.rcgog.nl, April 14.

Rijn, M. van (et al.) (2024) Nothing seen, nothing heard and nothing done. The lost responsibility. The Hague: Commission of Inquiry on Behavior and Culture of Broadcasters.

National Government (2022) 'Commemoration year for the history of slavery: structurally more attention and recognition for our shared past'. On: www.rijksoverheid.nl, October 14.

Samuel, M. (2023) You are also not allowed to say anything anymore: a new language for a new time. Amsterdam: New Amsterdam.

Schinkel, W. (2018) 'Against “immigrant integration”: for an end to neocolonial knowledge production'. In: Comparative migration studies, jrg. 6, no. 1, 1-17.

Schipper, M. (2023) 'Racial data maintains the distribution of power, but it can also overturn it'. In: Lillith Magazine, December 5.

Smaling, E. (2022) 'EUR is currently the only university in the Cultural Diversity Barometer'. On: www.erasmusmagazin.nl, November 17.

Leiden University (2019) ''Diversity cannot be achieved with a magic wand''. On: www.universiteitleidingen.nl, December 2.

Uslu, G. (2022) Multi-year letter 2023-2025: the power of creativity, culture at the heart of society. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Uslu, G. (2023) Basic principles of cultural subsidies 2025-2028. The Hague: Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.


A focus group was organized on June 21, 2022 to collect information for this theme page. The following people were present:

  • Siela Ardjosemito-Jethoe (deputy director of Avans University of Applied Sciences, then diversity and inclusion officer at The Hague University of the Arts)
  • Sjaiesta Badloe (policy advisor at Amsterdam Arts Council)
  • Pauwke Berkers (professor of sociology of pop music at Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Viktorien van Hulst (director at the Performing Arts Fund)
  • Anouk de Koning (cultural anthropologist and associate professor at Leiden University)
  • Menno van der Pelt-Deen (founder of Games4Diversity)
  • Jasmijn Rana (cultural anthropologist and assistant professor at Leiden University)
  • Ebissé Rouw (including founder and publisher Dipsaus podcast, acquiring editor at Dutch Book Guide)
  • Sakina Saouti (communication specialist at LKCA and point of contact for the Diversity & Inclusion Code)
  • Roy van der Schilden (writer and business director at Wispfire)

Accountability image

Unseen Amsterdam / Photography: Lisa Maatjens.