Increase of Women in Chinese Business
January 11, 2013
The phrase “The moon reflects the sunlight”, refers to women as subordinate to men. Symbolically, man is placed with the sun and women with the moon. As an ethnically Asian Woman, I am aware of the harsh realities of life. Male dominance in business is still prevalent in countries like China but it is evident that the percentage of Chinese women as entrepreneurs or becoming CEOs is increasing.
Coming from a culture similar to the Chinese and living in the US, I see that the roles of women and men are still not equal in China. The difference between China and the US is that educated women in America are accepted in business and politics; the same cannot be said about the Chinese society today. The Chinese society is yet to accept women as equal counterpart to the male. China has come so far in the last 20 years; it has become the second largest economy in the world. Will there be an increase of women in Chinese business?
Shenan Chuang, chief executive officer of Ogilvy &(?); Mather, Greater China is one of the many Chinese women who are an inspiration to us. Her career started as a clerk in a raincoat exporting company and now she manages 2,400 employees. In 2010, she became a powerful marketing mogul named (ranked) among “Top 25 Business Women in China” by Fortune China magazine. Chinese women can proudly follow in Shenan Chuang’s footsteps. More women are now leading the way in every industry such as real estate, education, marketing, business and fashion. Zhang Xin, the CEO at SOHO China titled as the Real Estate Tycoon and the first lady of Fashion, Angelica Cheung, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue China are other extraordinary women in China.
Statistics have reported that female leaders outperform male leaders in fields such as team work, communication and coping with different tasks. It is clear that the western business culture as well as etiquette and lifestyle are being adapted into the Chinese society. Chinese women are adjusting and becoming more ambitious in the changing society. They are increasingly playing a more important role in China. Studies by the magazine Newsweek has reported that 75% of the Chinese women aim to possess positions in senior management while the number in the US is 50%. The trends in China now are the growing numbers of women becoming entrepreneurs, achieving higher education standards and going to business school in other countries. Chinese women who receive an international education are perceived as more valuable because of their international experiences, skill sets and multilingual proficiencies. These criteria are important for companies who look into growth and expansion overseas.
Why are Chinese women becoming so successful today when it comes to business? This is attributed to China’s transitional economy, which provided opportunities for women’s development and growth than it ever did before. Chinese women can now make their own breakthrough like Shenan Chuang, and many other successful moguls. In my lifetime I would like to see China’s next milestone of having a female political figure.