Officially, women have the same rights as men in the workplace and the party has promoted this sense of equality over the past thirty years or so.
However, traditional Confucian thinking does not sit easily with this notion of gender equality and it is somewhat ironic that the liberalisation policies of the last decade might have reversed many of the advances made by women in Chinese society under the previous hard-line regimes.
Foreign businesswomen will be treated with great respect and courtesy. They may find that, within a delegation, the Chinese defer to male colleagues regardless of the actual seniority of the western party – the Chinese assumption being that the male will naturally be the decision-maker.
Having said that, it is now more and more common to encounter women in reasonably senior roles in large Chinese organisations – especially in the larger, more modern cities. Chinese women are highly successful within the education city and are actively managing their careers.
This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture.
Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working. We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.
This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in China only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.
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