The day before International Women’s Day, the well-known Chinese recruitment website Zhaopin released a report on the status of Chinese women in the workplace in 2018. 102,415 valid questionnaires were collected in order to compile the report, according to which women are found to earn 22% less on average than their male counterparts.
Women choosing between career and family
Confronting the dilemma of how to reconcile their careers with their family lives, women are more likely to be influenced by the conventionalised gender divisions and norms of the workplace. According to the report, women spend 15% more time doing family work than men do. In contrast, women’s time in the workplace is 9% less than men’s.
The critical factor for women to choose an occupation is found to be “convenience of commuting”, however, men consider “career prospects” to be their priority when choosing a job. Compared with unmarried women, married women show a stronger desire to find a convenient commute so they can deal with their family chores.
In choosing the criteria by which to define a successful woman, over half of women choose “accomplishments in their fields of work”, in contrast to the top criterion in 2016, which was “having one’s own attitude in dealing with issues and not following the crowd.” This points to women having an increasing aspiration to achieve in the workplace.
Large gender wage gap and few women in top management positions
There are 14.8% more women than men in low-level positions, however, men outnumber women in positions of low-level, middle-level, and senior management by 6.3%, 6.3%, and 2.2% respectively. With more men holding management positions, the gender wage gap widens. The average monthly income of women is reported to be 22% less than that of their male counterparts, and the contrast is especially obvious in middle and top management jobs.
The fact that more women tend to leave the labor force when they marry or have children remains the largest barrier against them being promoted in the workplace.