China has no gender-based so-called ‘glass ceiling’.
With 2021 being the closing year for completion of China’s drive for equality in gender and everyone knowing, perhaps with a certain snide and snickering acknowledgement in mostly ignorant western circles, that China always meets its targets, what can we say about the progress on this issue by the Chinese?
Well, first we can say that by all appearances, and not without maybe a little extra attention and perhaps some favouritism in the later stages of this drive (women often fairing much better than their male counterparts in terms of opportunity and more relaxed freedoms, as a general principle) the women of China – from the lower rungs of society to the very top – are doing quite all right thank you just now. And that does not just reflect the situation in very recent years but for some time over past decades. I suggest it goes back to the relaxing of the so-called one-child policy, after which some 30 million unregistered girls (whom those same snidey westerners ignorantly rumoured were being killed at birth) suddenly found themselves registered and in school. They all along having been educated on the QT.
Let me say at this point that I claim no special knowledge on China. Most if not all I say here comes from the Godfree Roberts book – ‘Why China Leads the World: Talent at the Top, Data in the Middle, Democracy at the Bottom’. Oriel Press. Kindle Edition – and available wherever good books are sold.
Honouring the writer’s work, I will not quote directly from Roberts’ book, but he lists many facts which should be easily and independently verifiable.
Everyone would I think know the name of Meng Wanzhou, so recently in the news as a result of sleazy efforts by US authorities to smear her name. She is the CFO and deputy chair of the biggest global Telco – Huawei – a very successful woman – and not through nepotism (though her father owns the company). If you rise in China, you rise on merit alone – as did President Xi (have you heard his story? – try it sometime – the book could be a nice place to start).
How about I just list some facts…
- Fifty three percent of Chinese university students are women.
- Forty nine percent of Chinese academics are women.
- Half of all home buyers in China are women – which may not sound so surprising when considered that almost all Chinese people own their own home.
- One third of China’s full professors are women.
- Women science and finance graduates outnumber men.
- Some of China’s most prestigious projects go to women. A woman designed the Navy’s Houbei missile patrol boats.
- Lu Yutong invented the world’s fastest computer (I can’t so far independently verify that but she is deeply involved with aspects of supercomputing at China’s Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and received her MSc and PhD degrees in computer science from the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), Changsha, China and so is working at high levels in the right area.)
- Tu Youyou, now in her nineties, discovered Artemisinin, preventing millions of deaths from Malaria.
- Dr. Liang Jianying, Deputy General Manager and Chief Engineer at CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company, is lead designer of the new 500Kph Maglev trains
- Eighty percent of China’s venture capital companies have at least one female partner.
- Ninety percent of the world’s leading self-made women are Chinese.
- Eighty percent of the world’s self-made female billionaires are Chinese. How the west must hate that – viz. the dubiously based US charges against Meng Wanzhou.
- An Engineer and long-time business woman, now in her mid-60’s and stated to be China’s most powerful self-made woman, Sun Yafang joined Huawei in 1989. She stepped down from being the company’s chair in 2018.
- Zhou Qunfei, the world’s richest self-made female billionaire and China’s best known, overcame the misfortune of a disrupted education to become CEO of the biggest manufacturer of touch screens.
- Jean Liu is president of the world’s biggest ride share business.
- Rachel Duan is CEO of GE China.
- Dong Mingzhu is CEO of the world’s biggest appliance manufacturer – Gree.
I have to end this somewhere but the list of inspiring women in China goes on and on. You can read more here: ‘Inspiring Women’.
I will end by asking the question, is a large part of China’s rise on the world stage due to its attitude to, and the role played by, that 50% of the population so suppressed and/or undervalued in many other parts of human society?
Aaarrrgghhh!! The most horrible and frustrating part of putting together a post over a protracted period is that you tend to forget the one thing which inspired you to begin it in the first place. And, I have of course just done that. I will need to republish – with the following additional material, added in its rightful place.
One thing was on my mind when I began to write this story, and it is the inspiring written biography of a Chinese woman who became an overnight sensation after publishing her humble story.
Again, honouring the writer, I will not share it openly here, but encourage you to read the original publication (English translation) on ‘What’s on Weibo’. It will not take long.
Here is the introduction:
In late April of 2017, Fan Yusu became an overnight literary sensation in China when her essay “I Am Fan Yusu” was published on online platform Noonstory.com and soon went viral. Here is a full translation of the original Chinese essay. Translation provided by What’s on Weibo.