[photopress:female_pilots.jpg,full,alignright]According to a global study by PricewaterhouseCoopers women in developing countries find it easier to break through the so-called glass ceiling than their colleagues in the west. Out illustration of a group of female pilots perhaps demonstrates this.
The firm interviewed more than a hundred business people across eight countries including China for the report on women’s economic participation for the Women’s Forum.
It said: ‘Our discussions with interviewees suggested that in developed countries, cultural stereotypes and perceptions may represent greater barriers to full economic participation by women than in many of the developing countries.’
The study found that government policies in some countries had played a positive role in increasing women’s participation in business. In China, the controversial one child policy was established to control population growth, but the Chinese interviewees saw it as having a positive effect on women’s participation in the workforce.
Families with a daughter, for example, have been active in promoting gender equality, which has brought a shift of perceptions in the country. They have also lavished investment on education for their single child, male or female.
In addition, daughters do not have to compete with male siblings for parental recognition, which has translated into higher self-esteem for women.
In a case study Li Qingyuan, former head of research at the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said, ‘We have so many women entrepreneurs and professionals, and also mayors. We even have an association of women mayors. In China, I think a lot can be attributed to the revolution which ended in 1949, as Chairman Mao was a big promoter of women’s rights. . . . Chinese women are very conscious of their rights, conscious of what they can do. With education and enlightenment, they don’t feel that gender is a limit.’