Chinese Women Struggle to Find Work-Family Balance

November 9, 2016
Editor: Joyce Dong
Chinese Women Struggle to Find Work-Family Balance
The cartoon shows a policewoman busing doing work at her office whilst having a phone call from her family. []


Seven out of ten Chinese women believe that career and family lives are the same important, a survey reported on Monday.

A survey of among 2,000 professional women from all walks of life in Beijing reveals the majority of women want to have it all – success in both their professional and personal lives.

Factors such as age, marriage and having children change the way women pursue their careers. After marriage and giving birth, Chinese women start to prioritize flexibility and job stability in addition to challenging and interesting work, the "2016 China Women, Work and Happiness" White Paper shows.

Chinese females seek a work-life balance, but the desire to fulfill professional goals runs in contradiction, said Virginia Tan, CEO of Lean In China. According to a UN report, women do unpaid household labor three times more than men.

The White Paper also reveals that the top three definitions of success cited by women are "Health" (68.28%), "Marriage/family" (45.82%) and "Happiness/satisfaction" (40.73%), which are not directly related with professional success.

At the same time, the proportion of women choosing "Money," "Power," "Social influence" and "Fame" as definitions of success is low.

The majority of participants stated their top challenges in their professional lives are "Work-life balance" (86.30%), "Occupational disruption caused by childbearing" (73.63%) and "Household responsibilities and support for partner" (70.42%).

These three challenges are all directly related with familial responsibilities, and according to survey data, are far greater than direct workplace-related challenges such as "Gender discrimination," "Lack of promotional opportunities and guidance," "Lack of self-confidence," and "Lack of capability."

(Source: China Daily)

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