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Dr Xin Deng
Research Team Leader, UniSA Business School
Research Team Leader, UniSA Business School

* By University of South Australia

Gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in Chinese society with over three quarters of Chinese women believing that they are not hired or promoted because of gender discrimination.

Working to develop and uphold standards, and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential UN Women are global champions for gender equality around the world.

Addressing the UN Women China Workshop in Beijing recently, University of South Australia School of Commerce researcher, Dr Xin Deng, spoke about how businesses in China can significantly benefit from greater gender equality initiatives.

“China-specific information on gender equality in the business world is limited, and until recently, it was believed that gender initiatives in China might work differently,” Dr Deng says.

“But as my research reveals, workplace practices that promote gender equality do deliver significant benefits to both Chinese businesses and their employees. Just as they do in all enterprises.”

The first of its kind undertaken in China, the ‘Chinese Case Studies on Gender Equality in the Business World’ project was commissioned by UN Women China, as part of the Equal Opportunities of Women initiative designed to empower women in the business world, to set a path towards gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth.

“Understanding the impact of gender equality programs in China is essential for business profitability,” Dr Deng says.

“It’s vital that our current and future leaders know how to foster gender diversity and can recognise and assess the range of benefits that these measures deliver.”

The study examined gender equality across three successful businesses currently operating in China: a state-owned corporation, a private company, and a multinational enterprise, each having taken steps to promote equal opportunities for their male and female employees.

“In each of the cases a number of benefits were delivered from gender inclusive measures, not only in terms of profits, but also in employee retention, satisfaction, loyalty, as well as talent acquisition,” Dr Deng says.

“We also shared insights on what makes a good leader, and how to foster a women-friendly corporate culture. Each of these are essential elements to what makes a successful business.”

Complete case studies from this research are available in both English and Chinese:

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