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  • Rise of the “Chinese Business Woman”

    These women offer a solution to a cutthroat war for talent in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. One recent survey showed that 40 percent of employers in China had difficulty finding the right talent to fill openings, a 25 increase percent since 2009, while 92 percent of the companies in another survey say their competitive power is “affected” by the shortage of key talent. Yet few employers have maximized the potential — or realized the power — of China’s “white-collar” women professionals.

    In the decades since Deng Xiaoping instituted market reform, millions of women have profitably followed Deng’s dictate that “to get rich is glorious.” Half of the 14 billionaires on Forbes magazine’s 2010 list of the world’s richest self-made women are from mainland China. Chinese women in powerful business positions include Wei Sun Christianson, CEO of Morgan Stanley, China; Mei Yan, Managing Director of MTV Networks, China; and Mary Ma, former CFO of Lenovo and managing director in global equity giant TPG, who recently started her own investment fund. Backing them up are legions of qualified and ambitious women who, increasingly, are the engines powering China’s economic juggernaut.

    These women offer a solution to a cutthroat war for talent in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. One recent survey showed that 40 percent of employers in China had difficulty finding the right talent to fill openings, a 25 increase percent since 2009, while 92 percent of the companies in another survey say their competitive power is “affected” by the shortage of key talent. Yet few employers have maximized the potential — or realized the power — of China’s “white-collar” women professionals.

    New research from the Center for Work-Life Policy (CWLP) explores and analyzes the complicated career dynamics of this rich talent pool. The findings of “The Battle for Female Talent in China” will be presented on March 22 in Beijing.

    Like their Western counterparts, the study found, Chinese women are graduating from universities at nearly the same rate as men. They make up nearly 40 percent of MBA students at top-ranked programs at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and Tsinghua University (nicknamed “the Chinese MIT”), comparable figures to the best schools in the U.S. But the similarities end there.

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    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Women's Business

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    About the Author: Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy. She is the author of eight books, including Top Talent.

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