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Post China presentation on Female Expatriates and Gender Discrimination in China

Post China presentation on Female Expatriates and Gender Discrimination in China

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  • It is not a matter of question whether there is or there isn’t gender discrimination in China. There IS! The question is How do we manage gender discrimination in that country?
  • Tim Leininger and the other person at the Control Risks are PCNs. SOURCE; SHRM publication.
  • There are thousands of companies, here are some big ones in MN doing business in China. I worked at Ecolab from 1984-1987 – I coordinated conferences worldwide and I met some of the Chinese Managers. (insert picture)
  • China has experience unprecedented progress in the last 20 years or so…we saw the progress! China is No. 1 place where we send our employees
  • While the global assignment may be beneficial for both men and women, it was found that the predictors are different for the two sexes. *Caliguiri and Cascio, 1998)..
  • For centuries, because of the attitude of Chinese leaders and the male citizens, discrimination against females do exist in China.
  • The natural images of women are almost fixed in people’s minds like ‘mothers who feed babies’ and ‘wives with aprons.’ And women are often portrayed as ‘gossips, being emotional and being too concerned about tiny things . . . In contrast, men are usually regarded as natural leaders’” (“Pyramid Participation,” n.d.). In In a comparative study of attitudes toward women managers in the United States and China, Jones and Lin (2001) found that American managers were more favorable toward women in management (7.1% in the Chinese sample vis-à-vis 46% in the United States. Despite China’s more enlightened attitude toward women since 1949 when that country embarked on a socialist course, there appears to have been a regression in terms of gender equality even though its economy has become more open since 1979 (Attane, 2006). This conclusion is consistent with Pollert’s (2003, p. 346) finding of “widespread post-communist anti-feminism” where the Gender Development Index of several central and east European countries, most noticeably that of the Czech Republic, fell sharply after the collapse of communism (Tung & Lazarova, 2006).
  • Good in theory..not in reality. Or may be Mao really meant it. However, the centuries old beliefs of his predeccesors still being followed by the Chinese men.
  • 2005 – 2007 study indicates that only 35-37% of women are employed in professional managerial positions, and that in 2006, women only earned 76 cents for every dollar than men earned. (Lopez-Claros and zahidi, 2005). 1. Here, they studied 80 men and women expatriates and they found that women were more willing to relocate than men, and that women were equally as willing as men to accept destinations with harsh living conditions, such as political and economic instability.
  • Chinese female on the phone…
  • Here’s my group!...Thanks everyone!
  • Use big title animation here…

China final paper pp presentation final China final paper pp presentation final Presentation Transcript

  • Preparing U.S. Female Expatriates for Assignment in China Edita N. Laurel M.A.O.M. – Human Resources Concordia University, St. Paul, MN
  • Globalization…
    • In this era of globalization, U.S. companies are sending employees to other countries. Those employees are called Parent Country Nationals (PCN’s). We simply call them as expatriates . They are employees of a U.S. company assigned to work in China.
  • Globalization: Terms:
    • Parent Country National (PCN ) – Citizen of the employer’s headquarter‘s country. Ex. Jim Leininger, a U.S. citizen living in China, working for Towers Watson is a PCN
    • Host Country National (HCN) – Chinese employee employed in China, for a U.S. company.
  • MN Companies that do business in China
    • 3M
    • Cargill
    • Delta Airlines
    • Best Buy
    • Target
    • General Mills
    • Medtronic
    • Hormel
    • Imation
    • Ecolab **
    • Thomson Legal and Regulatory
    • Carlson
    • Hutchinson Technologies
    • Polaris
    • Anderson Corporation
  • Where do we send our employees? Here’s the top 9 expat assignments.
    • 1. China and Hongkong – Number One !
    • 2. India
    • 3. European Union
    • 4. Japan
    • 5. Singapore
    • 6. Malaysia
    • 7. South Korea
    • 8. Taiwan
    • 9. Brazil
  • China Employment Facts :
    • Has experienced the fastest growth in the past 20 years and has been ranked as the fastest destination for foreign investments
    • According to the Global Relocation Trends’ ’03-04 reports, China has been ranked Nos. 1 and 3 for “most common destination” and “most popular destination”, respectively, as far as global assignments are concerned
    • This study identified China as the country with the most difficulty in managing gender discrimination.
  • How many U.S. females expats in China?
    • In a 1998 study, it was found that females expatriate managers are underrepresented in China. However, times are changing. Recently, more and more females are sent to work in other countries, especially China. The 2004 figures are higher.
  • Differing predictors of success for men v. women
    • Four predictors of success *
    • Individual characteristics, i.e., technical knowledge, language skills, personality;
    • Family (supportive spouse and children);
    • Organization (support from the headquarters); psychological contact
    • Host national’s attitudes towards the expatriates !!!! – Problem area for females*
  • Reasons for not succeeding:
    • Majority of disadvantages experienced by female expatriates involved a lack of organizational support (Adler, 1984)
  • Gender Discrimination in China :
    • Not a question of “is there?”
    • It is a matter of “how to manage it”
  • China Employment Facts (cont..)
    • The World Economic Forum –WEF- in its study of women’s empowerment also identified China as the No. 1 nation where gender discrimination is difficult to manage.
  • Female Expatriates and Gender Discrimination in China Edita N. Laurel M.A.O.M. – H.R. Concordia University
  • China Employment Facts
    • China’s workforce is 46.6% female; women occupied 34% of all administrative and managerial positions on 2003 (Breaking through the Glass Ceiling, 2004).
    • Great statistics but the issue of gender discrimination issue is continuing to linger. Why?
  • Attitude of Host Nationals to towards females
    • There is no question: Known fact, supported by studies that there is a different attitude towards women in China. Yes, discrimination against females DO exist in this county.
    • Example: Some Chinese male supervisor refuse to be managed by an American female manager;
    • There were reports from female managers that some Chine male even sabotage their work, and flatly refuse (being disrespectful) to them.
  • Attitude towards Females in China: (Gender Discrimination):
    • Discrimination and attitude against females exist because of the centuries - old culturally-ingrained attitude the Chinese have on females
    • Historically, females are considered “inferior” in China.
    • Chinese women are designated to handle the household, rear and take care of children, etc.
    • Here is what Confucius wrote a long time ago – 551- 479 B.C.
    • “ Women and unethical men are very difficult to look after and get along with “
    Centuries Old/Culturally Ingrained Belief ?
  • What other leaders are saying:
    • Shi.Shang Zhi and Shi.Shang Mao :
    • “ Wise men have the potential to become the king of the country.
    • Wise women only have the potential to destroy a country”.
  • More prejudice…
    • A Chinese saying about women in leadership positions:
    • “… like a donkey taking the place of a horse which can only lead to trouble…”
  • China Employment (cont…)
    • Xiuping Wu, Vice President of Beijing Women’s Federation, “women in managerial power is like a pyramid: the higher the position – the lesser the women”.
  • Mao:
    • “Women hold up half of the sky”
  • China employment facts..continued .
    • So, despite advances in China, a study conducted by International Labor Office, “sex stereotyping” continues. (Also termed “ghettoization of female labor” – Lopez- Claros and Zahidi, 2005). According to them, managerial position is perceived as a male occupation.
  • Our Role as U.S. Managers: How do we manage this challenging issue of Gender Discrimination?
  • Things we can do:
    • Explain to our HCN’s that gender discrimination and attitudes against female managers exist in China; - that it is real!
    • Encourage the female HCN to educate herself on the Chinese culture, including the whys of gender discrimination in the Chinese culture;
    • Explain the various organizational procedures in place if the HCN experiences challenges due to her sex;
    • Make sure that this issue is covered in the company’s strategic global workforce planning;
  • Most important:
    • Show that the organizational supports the female expatriate 100 percent. The biggest problem that female PCN’s perceived was that the company does not give them their full support. (Adler).
  • Things we can do…(cont…)
    • Have the person take a trip – spend a few days in China (before the person firms up the assignment). After all, it is a very risky move
    • Assign a mentor who is already in China to be friends with the new female employee to acculturate her with the Chinese culture;
    • Simulations of real life situations: “What if…” a situation happens?
  • What we can do (before the assignment….)
    • If possible, have the family accompany the employee for a pre-visit to China;
    • Exposure…exposure…exposure…
    • Acculturate, acculturate, acculturate.
    • Try to assimilate Chinese culture. Be friends with Chinese male without showing a power struggle;
    • Try to be social (socialize and make friends) with the Chinese co-workers so that they will know you better.
  • The stereotyping might advance to harassment
    • Remember Vicarious Liability: Employer is responsible for the discriminatory acts of its employees. Remind employees, both PCN and HCN of this
    • Remind the harassing employee of company policies against harassment, and the consequences if the policy was violated
  • What when harassment occurs -
    • Handle the matter/investigation according to the established company policy;
  • Extraterritoriality* of U.S. Employment Laws
    • Laws for U.S. citizens employed outside the U.S. by U.S. companies:
    • • Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) - ADEA
    • • Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA
    • • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    • • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    • • Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act (PROTECT)
  • Caution! Not all U.S. Employment Laws are shared.
    • “Employment-at-Will” – not shared.
    • There are some employment contracts that identify the scope of employment;
    • Anti-discrimination and harassment vary widely;
    • Important! There are also local Chinese laws you need to adhere to! IMPORTANT!
  •  
  • Thank you….
    • Concordia University (Prof B &Donna Olson) for allowing me to join this group using a creative approach.
    • Thank you Hai and Calvin for sharing the camera charger
    • Thanks, everyone!
  • The Future: My Prognosis:
    • We are seeing the changes…in 1998 when females are underrepresented in China, to 2004 when females broke the glass ceiling. I believe that things are getting better for the females workers in China, and that same will be true for female expats. There’s a lot of cross-cultural exchanges happening right now, including interracial marriages. Changes will be for the better.
  •  
  • The Great Wall of China
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