A Few Good Women at the Top: The China Case by Shimin Liu – Article Example
Article review In the modern rapidly changing world the role of women in the society is also changing. Speaking about the United s and Western Europe, it is essential to mention that women have already gained many rights and occupied prestigious positions. However, in the East the situation is different. In the Eastern countries women has always suffered from terrible discrimination. In the article “A few good women at the top: The China case” the author Shimin Liu tries to reveal the main causes of such positions of women in China and the reasons why women can’t occupy prestigious positions at work.
The author of the article notes that the world crisis changed the position of women. More and more women occupy high and prestigious positions at work. In China, as in any Eastern country, such progress is a bit slower. “Although women make up 49% of China’s population and 46% of its labor force, only one of four Chinese women has made it to the top management level, with a majority of those taking the position of COO, CFO, or HRD. In China, 53% of women are caught in sticky-floor situations and never advance beyond lower-level positions in the workplace. What keeps women from climbing the corporate ladder?”( Liu, 2013: 484). Many women are managers but only few of them manage to get the position of a head of a company. The situation is so disappointing due to many factors which are investigated by the author of the article. The main goal of the author is to reveal the true causes of such position of women and slow progress (Eagly & Carli, 2007).
During the research the author revealed that there are three main obstacles which prevent women from making good and distinguished career, “three types of obstacles preventing women from moving up the career ladder: the concrete wall, the glass ceiling, and the labyrinth” (Liu, 2013: 484). The first obstacle is the lack of proper education. It is not that women did not want to study, the trouble is that not very long ago they were just deprived of educational opportunities, which were available only to men. Thus, many Chinese women remain uneducated (Hong, 1976). The second reason is the position of women in the society. There are many prejudices, which prevent women from occupying good and prestigious positions. Now the prejudices seem to be hidden but they still keep affecting the position of women preventing them from having success at work. The third important reason is the lack of understanding and proper attitude towards these prejudices (Eagly, 2007). The author classifies these reasons into social, organizational and individual, where social reflects the attitude towards women in the society, organizational occur because of strong male dominance in the business sphere and individual obstacles are formed due to women’s improper attitude towards the prejudices (Ayman & Korabik, 2010).
The author comes to the conclusion that the organizations will only benefit if women manage to occupy high and prestigious positions. Speaking about the barriers, which prevent women from making a good career, it is essential to mention that the area of employment is the most important in the struggle for women rights. If organizations manage to eliminate prejudices and the women who are making successful careers manage to influence those females who keep believing in these prejudices, the situation in China will be significantly improved. The author notes that the thoughts and beliefs of women about their life and position in the society are not paid enough attention by the researchers while this factor is very important “Although much research has been done to identify the major role of gender stereotypes, beliefs, and attitudes in supporting and perpetuating the problem of glass ceilings, very few studies have focused on exploring women’s thoughts and beliefs about glass ceilings” (Liu, 2013: 485).
The author implemented a very useful investigation the results of which help shed the light on many problem women still face. A very interesting idea expressed by the author is that women are guilty in their position in the society just because they don’t want to change anything. Really, many women do not want to change the situation and take it for granted. They are strongly influences by the prejudices, which penetrated Chinese society so deeply that it is very difficult to eliminate them. If women have no desire to change anything, it will be impossible to introduce the changes. Women’s desire to make a good career can serve as epidemic and infect other females. The positive example of other women can be a stimulus for changing something in life.
Ayman, R., & Korabik, K 2010 Leadership: Why gender and culture matter. American Psychologist, 65(3), 157—170.
Eagly, A. H 2007, Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: Resolving the contradictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31(1), 1—12.
Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L 2007, Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Hong, L. K 1976, "The Role of Women in the Peoples Republic of China: Legacy and Change." Social problems 23.5, 545-57
Liu, Sh 2013, A few good women at the top: The China case. Business Horizons,