Chinese women more confident in workplace, less willing to get married, have children
Published: Mar 07, 2021 07:42 PM
Li Sijia, an in-flight security officer, takes her daily combat training.

Li Sijia, an in-flight security officer, takes her daily combat training.

The past year has seen women's voices on marriage and fertility becoming louder, with increasing awareness of gender equality. During the COVID-19 epidemic, hundreds of thousands women also demonstrated their "power" by participating in the fight against this unprecedented health crisis. 

With Monday marking International Women's Day, a recent survey by Chinese job hunting platform Zhilian Zhaopin sent to the Global Times on Sunday showed that Chinese women earn 12 percent less than men, but the gap has narrowed by 5 percentage points compared with last year, and the difference has declined for two consecutive years.

Women in the workplace are more aware and more confident in their leadership, and the proportion of middle-level female leaders is increasing, the survey shows. 

About 56 percent of female employees have a bachelor's degree or above, compared to only 46.7 percent of male employees. Higher education also brought more confidence to women.

According to the survey, 77.7 percent of female respondents believe that women are qualified to be top executives in companies, while only 53.1 percent of men doubt the competence of female leaders. 

However, while there can be no absolute fairness in the workplace, there is a marked difference in how men and women are treated, with women facing significant "gender limits" in the working environment.

For women, questions about marital and childbearing status were the most commonly asked during job applications, accounting for 55.8 percent, more than twice as much as the male workforce.

In addition, 29.6 percent of women have been restricted by employers because of their gender when applying for jobs, 18.2 percent have been forced to give up their careers to take care of their families, 7.7 percent have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and 4.1 percent have not taken leave when getting married or having children, the survey shows. 

The survey also found one in four female respondents said they are choosing to not get married, while men's willingness to get married is much higher. Moreover, about 30 percent of women said they regretted getting married, three times more than men. 

It also found that relaxing the family planning policy failed to effectively promote women's willingness to have more children, with around 77 percent of mothers and 65.5 percent of fathers in the workplace saying they choose to maintain the status quo, and only 5 percent choosing to have more children. 

The survey also showed that more than half of women are worried about their appearance, with more than 70 percent believing it affects their careers and relationships.