Positive examples of women leaders are emerging in Chinese fintech. Is this indicative of the potential for greater gender balance in this high growth sector or does more need to be done?
Despite decades of modernization, traditional family structures continue to play an important part in Chinese society. Women are well educated and, upon graduation, typically enter employment. But they are still expected to give priority to their roles as wives and mothers. They tend to drop out of the workforce upon having a child, just at the point in their careers when they might otherwise have moved into mid-level or senior positions.
This dynamic can be seen in the low percentage of senior positions at Chinese financial institutions that are occupied by women. In 2016, women occupied 8 percent of the ExCo positions in the Chinese companies in the study, compared to 21 percent in North America and 16 percent in Europe
When hiring a woman, interviewers in China can be more direct in their consideration of family status than in the US, for example. If a woman is pregnant, the impact on continuity would be a consideration for the hiring company