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Over 90% of Mainland China Companies Include Women in Senior Management

Grant Thornton
2007-03-07 17:46 947

HONG KONG, March 7 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The latest findings from the Experian(R) Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) 2007, released today ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 Mar 2007, reveal that 91% of mainland China companies have women in senior management positions, taking the 2nd place after the Philippines (97%) among the 32 countries/regions surveyed (see table 1).

"Despite some people’s perception about traditional sexism in the Chinese society, it is positive to note that nowadays nine in ten businesses on the mainland have women in senior management. Both Hong Kong and Taiwan also have a high proportion of businesses with women in senior levels, at 83% and 80% respectively. The findings suggest that China businesses focus on capability and performance when appointing senior management, but not the gender," said Mrs. Alison Wong, partner of specialist advisory services at Grant Thornton.

These figures revealed for the three places across two shores position China ahead of many major western countries, such as the US (69%), Canada (66%) and the UK (64%), where gender equality is generally perceived as well established.

"In fact, countries in Asia tend to have a higher proportion of businesses with women participating in senior management. Apart from China, almost all surveyed countries in Asia have more businesses with women in senior levels than the global average of 65%. The major exception to this is Japan at 25%. Obviously Japan is unique in the cultural perception about women in business and women’s role in the family as compared with other parts of Asia," said Dr. William Thomson, Experian’s global economic director.

Percentage of women in senior management roles

The percentage of women in senior managerial positions reveals similar rankings of the 32 surveyed countries/regions, with the Philippines taking the first place (50%) and Japan ranking the lowest (7%). The three places across two shores have more women in senior management than the global average of 24%, with the mainland in 6th place (32%), Hong Kong in 4th place (35%) and Taiwan in 9th place (29%). (See table 2).

"It is encouraging that, when compared with results of the same research carried out in 2004, it is encouraging to see that Hong Kong has experienced increased female representation in senior management in businesses," commented Dr. Thomson.

"However, while the findings reflect an upward trend of percentage of women in management roles for many economies, there is only one country, the Philippines, achieving true parity in male/female share in management. Hopefully, we will see similar equality in other places in the coming years as more women play -- such as Wu Yi, Vice-premier of The State Council of the People’s Republic of China; Cheung Yan, Chairman of Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd; Indra Nooyi, the new CEO of PepsiCo; Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines; Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany; Ségolène Royal, French Socialist presidential candidate and Hilary Clinton, candidate for president in the US presidential election of 2008 -- increasingly prominent roles in public life," added Mrs. Wong.

Table 1.

Proportions of companies with women in senior management

(% of respondents)

# 2007 2004

1 Philippines 97 85

2 Mainland China 91 -

3 Malaysia 85 -

4 Brazil 83 -

5 Hong Kong 83 74

6 Thailand 81 -

7 Taiwan 80 67

8 South Africa 77 74

9 Botswana 74 -

10 Russia 73 88

11 Greece 70 73

12 Sweden 69 60

13 United States 69 75

14 Singapore 67 66

15 Canada 66 64

16 Australia 64 70

17 UK 64 62

18 New Zealand 63 69

19 Poland 63 72

20 Spain 62 47

21 Armenia 60 -

22 Ireland 60 64

23 France 58 52

24 India 56 41

25 Turkey 54 57

26 Mexico 52 76

27 Argentina 47 -

28 Italy 42 48

29 Germany 41 34

30 Luxembourg 37 -

31 Netherlands 27 27

32 Japan 25 29

Global average 65 59

Table 2.

Women as a % of total in senior management

# 2007 2004

1 Philippines 50 39

2 Brazil 42 -

3 Thailand 39 -

4 Hong Kong 35 26

5 Russia 34 42

6 Mainland China 32 -

7 Botswana 31 -

8 South Africa 29 26

9 Taiwan 29 31

10 New Zealand 24 31

11 United States 23 20

12 Poland 23 36

13 Malaysia 23 -

14 Sweden 22 18

15 Armenia 22 -

16 Australia 22 22

17 France 21 21

18 Ireland 21 16

19 Singapore 21 23

20 Greece 21 22

21 Mexico 20 27

22 UK 19 18

23 Canada 19 22

24 Spain 17 14

25 Turkey 17 20

26 Argentina 16 -

27 Italy 14 18

28 India 14 12

29 Netherlands 13 9

30 Germany 12 16

31 Luxembourg 10 -

32 Japan 7 8

Global average 24 19

Source: Experian Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) 2007

Notes to editors

About the Experian Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR)

Entering its 5th year, the Experian Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) was carried out among 7,200 owners of medium to large privately held businesses from 32 countries/territories during late 2006. Among them, 300, 250 and 150 medium to large privately held businesses were surveyed in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively. IBR began in 2002 and builds on the European Business Survey (EBS) which Grant Thornton ran from 1993 to 2001. In 2007, the survey’s name was changed from the International Business Owners Survey (IBOS) to the International Business Report (IBR). The research was conducted by Experian Business Strategies Limited and Harris Interactive. For more information, please visit www.internationalbusinessreport.com

About Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton is one of the leading accounting, tax, and business advisory firms dedicated to serving the needs of entrepreneurial and owner managed companies. In Hong Kong and mainland China, Grant Thornton has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, employing in excess of 650 people. Grant Thornton in Hong Kong is a member of Grant Thornton International -- one of the world’s leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms providing assurance, tax and specialist advice to independent businesses and their owners. Firms operate in 110 countries in 520 offices with more than 22,600 employees. For more information, please visit www.gthk.com.hk

About Experian

Experian provides an unrivalled understanding of consumers, markets and economies in the UK and around the world, past, present and future. The business is a market leader in consumer profiling and market segmentation, economic forecasting and public policy research, supporting businesses, policy makers and investors in making tactical and strategic decisions. Experian’s economic forecasting arm, Business Strategies, has operations in sixteen countries: UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Hong Kong -- China, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, Greece, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. For more information about Experian go to www.experian.com.hk/ebs/

For further information, please contact:

Grant Thornton

Mrs. Alison Wong (Partner - Specialist Advisory Services)

Tel: +852-2218-3037

Email: alison.wong@gthk.com.hk

Estella Tsui (Marketing manager)

Tel: +852-2218-3207

Email: estella.tsui@gthk.com.hk

Experian

Dr William Thomson (Global economic director)

Email: william.thomson@uk.experian.com

Bruno Rost (PR manager)

Tel: +44-115-968-5009

Email: bruno.rost@uk.experian.com

Source: Grant Thornton
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