China’s “White Collar” Women
With half of the world’s top 14 female billionaires hailing from China, it’s impossible to envision that country’s white-hot economy succeeding without the contributions of women. Yet with the expansive growth in China demanding more and more highly-qualified employees, the search for—and retention of—top talent has made the environment a difficult one for businesses, who are feeling the sting of an acute talent shortage. All the while, a major and potent answer to this shortage is resolving itself in the form of an ambitious, educated class of Chinese women who are discovering thriving careers in the Chinese “white collar” world. A recent post in a Harvard Business Review blog explains how.
- Chinese women are now graduating from university at rates equitable to those of men, and are making up 40 percent of all graduates from prestigious Chinese business schools.
- Meanwhile, up to 92 percent of China’s employers are finding difficulty in filling open positions with proper talent, and are beginning to draw upon this pool of highly-educated, highly-ambitious Chinese women.
- Thanks to China’s traditional one-child policy, many of these female only-children have been raised to the expectations typically held for male children, and have been manicured for success, and raised to compete.
- However, they are also held back by family care concerns, particularly care for elderly parents, which is a reality for 95 percent of Chinese women. The phenomena of “daughterly guilt” was pegged by 88 percent of female respondents to a recent survey as a reason for making important career decisions, such as where to locate, which job to take, and whether or not to work at all.
- Child-care, such an issue in other countries, is hardly on the radar of obstacles in China, in terms of female career development.
A top-level diversity officer at multinational corporation Intel, Rosalind Hudnell, says that the needs of Chinese women are, in this regard, unique and require special consideration, saying: “These sharp differences between Chinese women and their counterparts in other countries show that multinationals can’t have one cookie-cutter global policy for women”.
- In response to corporate initiatives to address their concerns, Chinese women are displaying tremendous loyal to the employers, with 88 percent of Chinese women polled in a recent study considered themselves “very loyal” to their company. Such loyalty, along with a well-cultivated pool of female employees, may be the ultimate solution to China’s insatiable talent demands.
To read the entirety of the blog post online, click here
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