China Power

Big in China

Some women are making serious money on the mainland – lots and lots of it.

China may only rank a mediocre 60th place in the world in terms of the global gender gap according to the World Economic Forum (although it’s far from the worst Asian laggard, with Japan coming in at 101st, India 114th, South Korea 115th and Pakistan 132nd). But if you’re a woman hoping to make it really, really big, then it might just be the place for you.

Forbes magazine reported this week that half the world’s 14 self-made billionaires hail from China as many women are benefiting from new wealth created by entrepreneurs.

The report notes:

‘A 2002 survey of Chinese female entrepreneurs found that many build up business acumen and managerial skills by holding high posts at large state-owned enterprises, and that it is through these sorts of connections that entrepreneurs are able to raise the capital they need. Others gain experience in the private sector. Most, the study says, are highly educated, either at domestic universities or abroad.’

Making full use of the female talent available is going to be a key challenge for a number of rapidly aging populations in Asia, not least Japan, which faces a contracting workforce (and indeed population). It could probably learn a thing or two here from its neighbour.