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davidau

Junior Member
Registered Member
Do people genuinely believe this? When I look at the leaders of China, both political and business, they seem overwhelmingly male. 5% or fewer of people at the highest levels (e.g. Politburo, Central Committee, General, CEO) are female, including a number of seemingly "token" representatives. High caliber women that I know who have lived in both China and the West (US and UK, really, due to my limited network) report intense sexism in China. Ten years ago I might have said that Chinese women have to choose between career success and raising a family, but the two women I know who stayed in China and chose the leadership track would (at least today) say that their sex is still holding them back (and both of them achieved their most rapid advancement outside of the PRC before returning).

Overall, I actually think that China does a better job than the United States at producing extremely high caliber women (from a career perspective), but that once they enter the Chinese workplace there is an overwhelming bias against recognizing their accomplishments and promoting them. Am I wrong?
Wrong, totally about women. Mao once declared women holds up half of the world. That is equality and is true now, as well.
 

crash8pilot

Junior Member
Registered Member
Do people genuinely believe this? When I look at the leaders of China, both political and business, they seem overwhelmingly male. 5% or fewer of people at the highest levels (e.g. Politburo, Central Committee, General, CEO) are female, including a number of seemingly "token" representatives. High caliber women that I know who have lived in both China and the West (US and UK, really, due to my limited network) report intense sexism in China. Ten years ago I might have said that Chinese women have to choose between career success and raising a family, but the two women I know who stayed in China and chose the leadership track would (at least today) say that their sex is still holding them back (and both of them achieved their most rapid advancement outside of the PRC before returning).

Overall, I actually think that China does a better job than the United States at producing extremely high caliber women (from a career perspective), but that once they enter the Chinese workplace there is an overwhelming bias against recognizing their accomplishments and promoting them. Am I wrong?
I'd beg to differ - women still have to go through the exact same system to check off the exact same boxes in order to rise on top of the country. Instead of looking at how many females are on the Politburo/Central Committee, I'd recommend you dig deeper look into their respective careers and see how they managed to make it into the highest levels.

Remember the crackdown on private tutoring not so long ago? If you looked into it a little closer (especially reading up on Chinese sources) you'll learn that the Standing Committee assigned the task to Vice Premier Sun Chunlan. Sun was Party Secretary of Fujian, and during her tenure managed to develop deep connections with neighboring Taiwan enterprises, whilst also gaining experience in commerce and managing macroeconomic projects. Sun displayed enough competency in Fujian that the Party trusted her to head up Tianjin, which at the time was the country's richest municipality. Her previous experience working with trade unions as well as her familiarity working with parties (be it business or political) across the Taiwan Strait made her an ideal candidate to head up the United Front, a major organ of the Party. It was a combination of experience, competency, and achievements that got Sun promoted to the Politburo. Her current management portfolio as Vice Premier spans education and healthcare. Now healthcare plays a crucial aspect in Xi's poverty alleviation reforms, and she's also played a leading role in directing the country's pandemic relief. If the country's education or healthcare system were to be mismanaged, well it will 110% cripple and ruin the country. The Party therefore cannot just assign healthcare and education to their "token female Politburo member" unless she's actually proven she can perform. Lo and behold the crackdown on private tutoring as well as the handling of the pandemic (especially in the initial Wuhan outbreak) is proof of that. Sun's achievements weren't discounted or disregarded at all based on her gender.

Looking forward Shen Yiqin, the current Party Secretary of Guizhou, will almost certainly be promoted into the Politburo next year either to lead one of the Party's organs (probably propaganda, organization, or supervision) or as Vice Premier.... which goes on to show how versatile Shen's skill set and experience is (most politicians track towards the Party or the State Council, you don't really come across party members that can track into both). Although Shen has spent her whole political career in Guizhou, she's played a crucial role in developing the province into one of the country's major tech hub and financial centers. Guiyang wouldn't be such a massive hub for big data and machine learning if it weren't for Shen Yiqin's leadership. Her competencies and achievements have been recognized by the very fact that she's been promoted from researcher, professor, various municipality/provincial party organs, Vice Governor.... all the way till she's head of the whole province.... Might I also add that she was swiftly promoted in her last couple jobs, which goes to show how impressed the Party has been with Shen, and more importantly they are grooming her for the national stage.

I'm no feminist, but I do agree that the party leadership generally does lack in female representation. However the CPC will never just promote anyone because they think the person might have what it takes, but rather they need to see actual evidence of competency regardless of gender or upbringing. The Party can't just increase female representation at the top of the country's decision making bodies overnight just for the sake of #feminism either... Not when 1.4 billion Chinese lives, and inadvertently the global financial and geopolitical sphere, are at stake. However with changing times/norms where there are increasingly more opportunities for women to work their way up the political/social ladder, we need to give it time before women "catch up" with the system and display/develop the same achievements/competencies as their male colleagues in order to be promoted up the chain. The country (alongside the Party and Chinese Confusion culture) doesn't just produce a different calibre of woman, it creates a much more seasoned policy/decision maker than the West. Unlike America where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can go from bartender to Congresswoman overnight, CPC party members need to grind out the system over decades before they're even considered for national politics.... regardless if they are a dude or a dudette. The current "problem" is that the pool of eligible candidates that happen to be female is just too small, but I firmly believe that steps have already been taken and the"problem" will be addressed within the coming years. A little food for thought - the Chinese political system is only just working through politicians that grew up during the Cultural Revolution, so I imagine it'll be a while before we see the kind of "influx" of female politicians that the West comes to expect in the 21st century.
 

solman

New Member
Registered Member
Wrong, totally about women. Mao once declared women holds up half of the world. That is equality and is true now, as well.
Career oriented Chinese women inside of China overwhelmingly disagree with you. But I guess I got my answer: people actually do believe this.
 

solman

New Member
Registered Member
I'd beg to differ - women still have to go through the exact same system to check off the exact same boxes in order to rise on top of the country. Instead of looking at how many females are on the Politburo/Central Committee, I'd recommend you dig deeper look into their respective careers and see how they managed to make it into the highest levels.

Remember the crackdown on private tutoring not so long ago? If you looked into it a little closer (especially reading up on Chinese sources) you'll learn that the Standing Committee assigned the task to Vice Premier Sun Chunlan. Sun was Party Secretary of Fujian, and during her tenure managed to develop deep connections with neighboring Taiwan enterprises, whilst also gaining experience in commerce and managing macroeconomic projects. Sun displayed enough competency in Fujian that the Party trusted her to head up Tianjin, which at the time was the country's richest municipality. Her previous experience working with trade unions as well as her familiarity working with parties (be it business or political) across the Taiwan Strait made her an ideal candidate to head up the United Front, a major organ of the Party. It was a combination of experience, competency, and achievements that got Sun promoted to the Politburo. Her current management portfolio as Vice Premier spans education and healthcare. Now healthcare plays a crucial aspect in Xi's poverty alleviation reforms, and she's also played a leading role in directing the country's pandemic relief. If the country's education or healthcare system were to be mismanaged, well it will 110% cripple and ruin the country. The Party therefore cannot just assign healthcare and education to their "token female Politburo member" unless she's actually proven she can perform. Lo and behold the crackdown on private tutoring as well as the handling of the pandemic (especially in the initial Wuhan outbreak) is proof of that. Sun's achievements weren't discounted or disregarded at all based on her gender.

Looking forward Shen Yiqin, the current Party Secretary of Guizhou, will almost certainly be promoted into the Politburo next year either to lead one of the Party's organs (probably propaganda, organization, or supervision) or as Vice Premier.... which goes on to show how versatile Shen's skill set and experience is (most politicians track towards the Party or the State Council, you don't really come across party members that can track into both). Although Shen has spent her whole political career in Guizhou, she's played a crucial role in developing the province into one of the country's major tech hub and financial centers. Guiyang wouldn't be such a massive hub for big data and machine learning if it weren't for Shen Yiqin's leadership. Her competencies and achievements have been recognized by the very fact that she's been promoted from researcher, professor, various municipality/provincial party organs, Vice Governor.... all the way till she's head of the whole province.... Might I also add that she was swiftly promoted in her last couple jobs, which goes to show how impressed the Party has been with Shen, and more importantly they are grooming her for the national stage.

I'm no feminist, but I do agree that the party leadership generally does lack in female representation. However the CPC will never just promote anyone because they think the person might have what it takes, but rather they need to see actual evidence of competency regardless of gender or upbringing. The Party can't just increase female representation at the top of the country's decision making bodies overnight just for the sake of #feminism either... Not when 1.4 billion Chinese lives, and inadvertently the global financial and geopolitical sphere, are at stake. However with changing times/norms where there are increasingly more opportunities for women to work their way up the political/social ladder, we need to give it time before women "catch up" with the system and display/develop the same achievements/competencies as their male colleagues in order to be promoted up the chain. The country (alongside the Party and Chinese Confusion culture) doesn't just produce a different calibre of woman, it creates a much more seasoned policy/decision maker than the West. Unlike America where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can go from bartender to Congresswoman overnight, CPC party members need to grind out the system over decades before they're even considered for national politics.... regardless if they are a dude or a dudette. The current "problem" is that the pool of eligible candidates that happen to be female is just too small, but I firmly believe that steps have already been taken and the"problem" will be addressed within the coming years. A little food for thought - the Chinese political system is only just working through politicians that grew up during the Cultural Revolution, so I imagine it'll be a while before we see the kind of "influx" of female politicians that the West comes to expect in the 21st century.
I'll buy the notion that the general absence of women at the top of the party today may derive in part from discrimination that occurred long ago. I certainly don't doubt that anyone who reaches the Politburo is exceptionally competent (although by design all Politburo members hold jobs of considerable importance).

But I think that amongst women in their late 30s who went to college in Beijing (the cohort I know the most of) there is a widespread and extremely strong perception that there is very strong sex based discrimination in Chinese businesses today, especially in management roles. Due to the stories I've heard, I was surprised to realize that there are people who believe the opposite.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
Do people genuinely believe this? When I look at the leaders of China, both political and business, they seem overwhelmingly male. 5% or fewer of people at the highest levels (e.g. Politburo, Central Committee, General, CEO) are female, including a number of seemingly "token" representatives. High caliber women that I know who have lived in both China and the West (US and UK, really, due to my limited network) report intense sexism in China. Ten years ago I might have said that Chinese women have to choose between career success and raising a family, but the two women I know who stayed in China and chose the leadership track would (at least today) say that their sex is still holding them back (and both of them achieved their most rapid advancement outside of the PRC before returning).

Overall, I actually think that China does a better job than the United States at producing extremely high caliber women (from a career perspective), but that once they enter the Chinese workplace there is an overwhelming bias against recognizing their accomplishments and promoting them. Am I wrong?

You are right on lower number of females but you are wrong on everything else... including your 5%. It is FAR higher than 5% and my personal experience has been the exact opposite. I know more Chinese women who are in exceptionally high office within organisations such as academic institutions and corporations than I know men who occupy similar levels. This is a very small sample though from my own experience.

I don't doubt there is some sexism but I would say China's is a little less intense than it is in the West. Depends where in the west as well. Some are "better" than others in this regard. Maybe it is an issue of how likely the woman is to report examples of it and how extreme the experience is.

I think China does a similar job of cultivating high caliber women. However China's more traditional and conservative social attitudes definitely hinder some women but this is far from being most women nowadays. It is remarkable how well China does in this regard. Nearly half of university faculty heads are female - this is the experience I was referring to since I know so many in these roles. The politics too I think has some enforced representation so maybe that's why the Chinese Congress (but not the top of the party) have seemingly equal gender representation but when you look at organisations especially academia, there is a decent representation albeit skewed by conservatism of the country and gender roles. I would imagine the future generations to be more even as Chinese metrics seem to indicate that sort of direction. It isn't necessarily a good thing with higher cost of living and lower birth rates.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
I'll buy the notion that the general absence of women at the top of the party today may derive in part from discrimination that occurred long ago. I certainly don't doubt that anyone who reaches the Politburo is exceptionally competent (although by design all Politburo members hold jobs of considerable importance).

But I think that amongst women in their late 30s who went to college in Beijing (the cohort I know the most of) there is a widespread and extremely strong perception that there is very strong sex based discrimination in Chinese businesses today, especially in management roles. Due to the stories I've heard, I was surprised to realize that there are people who believe the opposite.

They you speak of believe that women are being productive. Not that women are dominating half the leadership class. You are the one confusing and conflating things. Women are working, making money, and in some cases in good positions albeit rare representation at the top of politics or corporations. Having said that in certain places they do nearly make up half and this is already accounting for conservative social values.

There is sex based discrimination everywhere. China is one of the better ones. Sex discrimination in the West is intensely bad and worse yet, assault. Sex discrimination in places like Japan or the Middle East would be much worse due to even more conservative social values and enforced norms.

Chinese social norms also do not seem to consider it ideal to have women in leadership roles although they often are. It is non-zero representation and that is because the government has a minimum threshold and private organisations do tend to desire competence and women are competent as men. Less than half representation is because many women are having children and not competing for those positions in the first place. It all adds up. It'll be nice to have some verifiable stats to look into these things. Just from personal experiences, I'd say Chinese women are doing fairly well in terms of representation in gov and business although it could be better but might not be simply because of social values and behaviour such as becoming a mother and fulfilling that role in a more traditional way i.e. not working or working in a smaller capacity.
 

solman

New Member
Registered Member
They you speak of believe that women are being productive. Not that women are dominating half the leadership class. You are the one confusing and conflating things. Women are working, making money, and in some cases in good positions albeit rare representation at the top of politics or corporations. Having said that in certain places they do nearly make up half and this is already accounting for conservative social values.

There is sex based discrimination everywhere. China is one of the better ones. Sex discrimination in the West is intensely bad and worse yet, assault. Sex discrimination in places like Japan or the Middle East would be much worse due to even more conservative social values and enforced norms.

Chinese social norms also do not seem to consider it ideal to have women in leadership roles although they often are. It is non-zero representation and that is because the government has a minimum threshold and private organisations do tend to desire competence and women are competent as men. Less than half representation is because many women are having children and not competing for those positions in the first place. It all adds up. It'll be nice to have some verifiable stats to look into these things. Just from personal experiences, I'd say Chinese women are doing fairly well in terms of representation in gov and business although it could be better but might not be simply because of social values and behaviour such as becoming a mother and fulfilling that role in a more traditional way i.e. not working or working in a smaller capacity.
It is my impression that in China, even more so than in the US (where this is also true to an unfortunate degree), career success and advancing on the leadership pathway largely the same thing, with greater pay, power and prestige accruing to managers than their subordinates. I work in engineering, where it is well understood that this is counterproductive, yet efforts to separate achievement from management level fail far more often than not. Managers who claim that you can rise up the career ladder without rising up the management ladder are rarely believed, and this is at least partly a self fulfilling prophecy.

It is therefore difficult for me to imagine a person who bases part of their self worth on career success (as perhaps everyone I know in both countries does) being OK with social norms that cause them to have difficulty advancing on the leadership path.

Perhaps the people I know are not representative, but having your career stall and perceiving it to be because of something other than work performance is a genuine and significant source of anguish. I wonder if the Chinese women you know in leadership positions are as sanguine about the current state of affairs as you are. To be honest, I remain very skeptical, but I have only my personal interactions to guide me in this belief.
 

ougoah

Colonel
Registered Member
It is my impression that in China, even more so than in the US (where this is also true to an unfortunate degree), career success and advancing on the leadership pathway largely the same thing, with greater pay, power and prestige accruing to managers than their subordinates. I work in engineering, where it is well understood that this is counterproductive, yet efforts to separate achievement from management level fail far more often than not. Managers who claim that you can rise up the career ladder without rising up the management ladder are rarely believed, and this is at least partly a self fulfilling prophecy.

It is therefore difficult for me to imagine a person who bases part of their self worth on career success (as perhaps everyone I know in both countries does) being OK with social norms that cause them to have difficulty advancing on the leadership path.

Perhaps the people I know are not representative, but having your career stall and perceiving it to be because of something other than work performance is a genuine and significant source of anguish. I wonder if the Chinese women you know in leadership positions are as sanguine about the current state of affairs as you are. To be honest, I remain very skeptical, but I have only my personal interactions to guide me in this belief.

This is true but not the case for plenty. I do not believe that the perception within China is that bad on the whole. Most people hold the assumption that a stalled career of a very talented and promising individual is anything but life choices and sacrifices e.g. child rearing or at least something outside of work performance.

I have admittedly not asked for their opinions but their positions confirm to me that while things can always be better, it is working as it is supposed to. My own aunt is a faculty head at a southern province state college. Dozens of published works and she says the competition is fierce in China and is unfortunately riddled with office and interpersonal politics (as if that's different to the west). Hers is the only opinion that even begins to touch the cultural aspect but I've never found her opinion on the sexism question. I assume it's there like everywhere else but the degree to which it is present? Well like I said, things probably can be better and certainly trending towards that. Social costs are not trivial though. We're already witnessing extremely low birthrates.

Growing up in the west, my impression of western cultural values on the whole and women are that western nations pretend very successfully to be liberal but are extremely conservative like the rest. Western women successfully pretend to be extremely liberal (especially to other women) but western women I know are all more feminine and conservative in comparison to Chinese women. I suspect this varies between western countries but people in my position here (being a Chinese ethnicity person who grew up in this country with experience of both sides) would agree.

I suspect it is just what we witness with everything else. Western people simply have generally better social skills and emotional intelligence. It also allows them to manipulate much better for their benefit. I always wondered why western women parade about liberal values and so on and behind closed doors are as ultra fem as one can be... the reason I personally concluded was of female competition. Females want other females to embody qualities that are unappealing to men. This way their competition are reduced in quality while they focus on the qualities that are generally appealing to most average men. This allows them to attract higher quality partners and compete better. Explaining why many are often outwardly extremely pro xyz insert value system and genuinely antithesis to all that when the "right" man is around.

I mean FFS Elizabeth Holmes went so far as to change her natural voice to sound more like a man ... if that doesn't indicate even the west has intense and deep problems with gender equality I don't know what does. Having said that, the West and China are both at the forefront of true gender equality in opportunity and business as much ground as there still is to cover! In China unfortunately, social values discriminate against females when they are in the womb. This is a real problem for China but partly symptomatic of only recently havinig industrialised and moved off mass subsistence farming in the last few generations. Rural poor still carry these attitudes and city folks to a smaller degree too albeit improving. Social values again nothing more but requires time to change perceptions before discrimination can change and couple effect making it cycle towards "better".
 
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Hickok

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Random question, is ETIM/TIP basically switching sides from AQ/Taliban over to IS now? People were speculating this was going to happen because of the Taliban's formal relationship with Beijing, and with the ISKP claiming responsibility of Kunduz mosque attack on October 8th on behalf of an suicide bomber who is most likely ETIM member it seems like they are affiliating themselves with IS now.

If so this is probably a win for China because it means they might be estranging support from the West. The US State Department is probably willing to work with ETIM but if they start getting too close to IS I don't think the US would even have the stomach to support them anymore.
 

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