Mao Zedong, a former Chinese ruler once said, “Women hold up half the sky.” This statement may then have appeared to be a way of placating women since China is largely a patriarchal society. Women struggle to make it to the top echelons of the corporate world. Despite a bleak past, contemporary China has more women at the helm of blue-chip companies than ever before.
Not even Europe and America can beat China
According to Fortune magazine, in 2013, more than half of the leaders of top companies in China were women compared to only 20% in the more liberal and democratic USA. Time magazine reported it this way, “Between 2012 and 2013, China doubled the number of senior management roles held by women from 25 per cent to 51 per cent.”
Women billionaires on the rise
The impressive statistics don’t stop there. Richard Kind, writing in Businesslife.com, stated that Chinese women leaders dominate in accounting and human resource and 19% of them are CEOs of various companies. Did you also know that 50% of the world’s billionaires are residents of China and 10% of these are women?
Fighting amid state lip-service to women empowerment
These statistics may not be uniform but they indicate the rise of Chinese women in business and management. In spite of the challenges of being women, wives and mothers, they have actualized the idealistic maxim of the Communist Party of fostering gender equality. It is evident that Chinese women are comparatively more empowered than those in the western world.
Single women are called leftovers
One must also respect the resilience of Chinese women. Remember that if one is a single woman, she will be referred to as ‘leftover’ both in common conversations and formal government documents. Moreover, a government policy limiting every family to one child denies many women the joy of having as many children as she would want.
The future can only get better
Thanks to empowerment by the government and civil society, coupled with quality education, Chinese women have moved up the ladder and if projections are anything to go by, more women will rise up the corporate ladder. Compare this with the percentage of women in such positions in Europe and you will realize that Chinese women are irrepressible and fearless in the match towards the top. Other countries have something to learn from China despite all the demonizing and bashing of this communist nation.