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Yet looking at China’s top companies, it’s hard to believe that the country is making women a significant part of its future.
Of the 203 executive committee members on the executive teams of the country’s top companies, there are eight women – 4% of the total. The number of companies with a female senior executive has gone down since last year.
According to a recent survey from Nanyang Technological University, only 12% of publicly listed companies in China have at least one woman senior executive – so we could applaud the fact that 35% of the top 20 do, but it’s hardly comforting.
Let’s draw hope from Alibaba (still privately owned and therefore not on our list), where five of the 14 members of its executive team are women.
Among international companies, China’s country operations are routinely more gender balanced in management than many of their Western counterparts.
But out of 20 companies, just four are responsible for well over half of all the female executives, and three companies account for 12 of the 17 with line responsibilities.
So let’s applaud SNCF, France Telecom, Group BPCE, and CNP Assurances for “getting it.” Their progress hides a pretty mediocre showing among the rest.
Lufthansa is the only company in the group to have two women on its five-person Ex Com, making it Germany’s only gender balanced leadership team.
For a country led by Angela Merkel, whose cabinet is 35% female, it’s startling to see so little progress on gender in the private sector.