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Taiwan Ranks Globally-third in Proportion of Female CEOs

2011/04/07 | By Philip Liu

Increasingly more women have climbed to top positions in the boardrooms. A recent survey shows that the three countries with the highest shares of female chief executives (CEOs) are, in descending order, Thailand, China and Taiwan.

Citing a report by the Grant Thornton accounting firm posted on the Chinese website www.ce.cn, the proportions of female CEOs in the Asia-Pacific, except Japan where male-dominance remains throughout society, are much higher than those in the U.S. and Europe.

Thailand Leads
Thailand has 30% of female CEOs, the highest, followed by China with 19%, and Taiwan with 18%, far ahead of 9% in the European Union and 5% in North America.

In shares of female senior managers, Thailand still leads globally with 45%, followed by the Republic of Georgia with 40%, and Russia with 30%; while unsurprisingly Japan and the United Arab Emirates trail at the bottom, both at merely 8%.

This survey is based on phone interviews of 11,000 corporate officers in 39 countries, with 9,000 effective responses collected. Some 300 enterprises, including 100 government-run and 200 private, were polled in China.

The survey found that in China the share of female senior managers totaled 34% in 2011, higher than 31% in 2009 and 32% in 2007, which is substantially higher than the 20% global average this year, a figure that is four percentage points lower than 24% in 2009.

Some 69% of female managers in China are chief financial officers or financial supervisor, followed by chief human-resources supervisors at 43%, chief sales supervisors at 37%, and chief operating supervisors at 23%.

High Educational Level
Xu Hua, partner and chairperson at Grant Thornton, attributes the relatively higher proportions of female managers in China to the gender's high educational level, with women making up over 49% of college students, and their aggressiveness, where 75% aspire to climb the corporate ladder, compared to 50% in the U.S..

Guan Li-min, senior partner of Grant Thornton, notes that Chinese female managers can match male counterparts in leadership and are even stronger in teamwork and communication, which may be euphemism for artful people-skills, which are offset generally by less adept emotional management, which can mean that female managers judge performance and other criteria based on personal preference rather than logic and reason.