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Experts Investigate Development of Female Leaders in Colleges
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2018-10-11-
Title: Experts Investigate Development of Female Leaders in Colleges
Author: Xie Wen
Release Date: 2018/10/11
Keyword: Experts, Development, Female Leaders, Colleges

Experts conducted an investigation among leaders at 272 colleges and universities in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing from October 2015-May 2016 to promote development among female higher-education staff.

With the wide participation of Chinese women in all aspects of society, especially in decision-making and management positions at every level, female leaders at colleges and universities in China have been increasing at an unprecedented pace.

According to statistics, the total number of female leaders has gone up consistently in recent years. There are now 349 female leaders at universities in the four cities, accounting for 18.63 percent of the total.

Among them, there are 139 female leaders in 89 colleges and universities in Beijing, accounting for 20.41 percent; 80 in Tianjin (22.35 percent); 85 in Shanghai (19.86 percent); and, 45 in Chongqing (11.08 percent).

In addition to the increases in number, the structures have improved, too, according to the report. Among 351 positions in the four places, 40 women are serving as Party secretary, accounting for 15.5 percent of the total; and 18 women serve as president, accounting for 7 percent.

The statistics show that female leaders appear in various positions. Among the female leaders in the four places, 115 are deputy Party secretaries and 178 are vice-presidents, accounting for 26.81 percent and 18.78 percent, respectively, exceeding the average proportion of 18.55 percent among all female leadership positions.

The proportion of female deputy secretaries is highest, reflecting the main path of female leaders in China's colleges and universities today.

Compared with all historical stages of China, the number and scale of female leaders in current universities and colleges has reached a peak in the current era.

After the country's reform and opening up, women have been breaking through restrictions and appeared in many positions of more key institutions, especially since the 2000s.

Despite such great progress and development, many problems are noticeable based on the overall situation of Chinese women's participation in politics, though.

First of all, compared with the development of female leaders in Party and government departments, the number of female leaders in colleges and universities is relatively small and the proportion is low, missing the requirement that female leaders should be more distributed in institutes where female employees are concentrated.

Besides, traditional stereotypes and marginalization still exist in the appointment and division of labor among female university leaders. Colleges and universities where female leaders are absent are generally so-called "male-dominated" institutes; female leaders in Party affairs are significantly over and above those who are in charge of administrative work.

There is a clear division of traditional roles in the division of labor in the leadership of colleges and universities.

Female leaders also have less space and opportunities in their career development in colleges and universities. Statistics show that almost half (49 percent) of female leaders are promoted and developed by their original school.

The proportion of female leaders transferred from other colleges and universities is significantly lower than that of men.

It indicates that male leaders have more opportunities to work or to be transferred between colleges, which alludes to the overall problem of Chinese women's participation encountered in politics.

In addition, the supportive environment for the development of female leaders in colleges and universities is insufficient. The shortage of female leaders in colleges and universities is related to the shortage of female experts in professional disciplines, and is related to the less supportive environment in which women develop academic and scientific research.

This situation could result from their childbearing and greater family responsibilities, which reduces their opportunities in job title assessments, research project acquisition, research paper publication, award-winning, international cooperation and exchange of key topics, and qualifications to enter experts committees.

The article is contributed by a professor of China's Women University.

(Source: Translated and edited by Women of China)
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