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China Needs More Women in Executive Leadership

There’s a business case for women in executive roles, but achieving equity will require an action plan.
By: Spencer Stuart and Bain & Company
March 2023

The representation of women at the executive level is an important lever for value creation. When women do not rise to their full potential, neither do their companies. There is a strong business case for more women in executive leadership, since gender diversity is linked to improved business processes and outcomes.

In China, fewer women are promoted to the executive ranks than in other countries despite high workforce participation, and those women who are promoted often work in functional leadership roles.

In this report, co-authored by Spencer Stuart and Bain & Company, we examine the four workplace challenges facing women: family responsibilities, hesitation, lack of sponsorship, and unconscious biases. We recommend a clear set of actions that companies can take in order to improve gender equity, as follows:

  • Ensure leadership commitment
  • Foster an inclusive culture
  • Build equitable support systems
  • Establish female-focused networking platforms

We also recommend actions for women aspiring to be executives that will help and unlock their leadership potential:

  • Share ambitions and ask for help
  • Act confidently
  • Build networks internationally
  • Combat bias

Download the full report