Macro-Economy
Women hold 1/5 of board positions in China
Last Updated: 2014-03-08 07:08 | chinadaily.com.cn
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Women hold 21 percent of positions on boards in China businesses, higher than the global average of 17 percent and ranking 9th on the global league table, a survey from Grant Thornton showed on Friday.

Meanwhile, the proportion of senior roles filled by women in China is 38 percent, beating the global average by 14 percentage points and leading other countries, according to the survey.

Despite a relatively low proportion of female board members, up to 85 percent of China businesses support the introduction of quotas for women on boards in listed companies, nearly twice as many as the global average of 45 percent, expressing the need for more women in decision management.

Previous studies reveal that when businesses face important decisions, female members on boards help balance male members' aggressive decisions and they are more aware of details which may be neglected by the men. This is expected to help businesses make better decisions.

The research also revealed that only 15 percent of China businesses run a specific program to support or mentor women and promote their career development; 11 percent of businesses are considering launching one; while as high as 69 percent of respondents have never considered it.

"Rather than a simple introduction of quotas for women on boards, it is more important for businesses to implement measures to help female employees' career development," said Xu Hua, CEO of Grant Thornton China.

Only when businesses break down gender discrimination and offer more career instruction for women can they add more value to businesses and allow businesses to benefit from gender diversity, he added.

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