, China’s Biggest Commercial Banks Badly Lag In Gender Balance At Top Positions, The Nzuchi News Forbes

China’s Biggest Commercial Banks Badly Lag In Gender Balance At Top Positions

, China’s Biggest Commercial Banks Badly Lag In Gender Balance At Top Positions, The Nzuchi News Forbes

China’s biggest state-owned commercial banks may have dotted the upper ranks of the Forbes Global 2000 annual ranking of the world’s largest publicly traded companies last month, but they aren’t doing so well when it comes to promoting women to top positions.

A new report by Deloitte found that the top six —   Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (No.1),  China Construction Bank (No. 4), Agricultural Bank of China (No. 9), Bank of China (No. 14) Postal Saving Bank of China (No. 28) and Bank of Communications (No. 57) — have a total of only four females in senior management positions.  Senior positions are defined as chairman, CEO and deputy CEO. Collectively, the six have a total of 50 senior management members, meaning that only 8% of top jobs go to women.

The results from a survey of 54 banks were presented at the FutureBoards Cross-Border Dialogue in Shanghai in Friday. About 100 people joined the discussion.  

A big reason for the imbalance is a 1978 rule that women should retire at age 55, compared with 60 for men, said Deloitte China Vice Chairman David Wu.  Businesses would rather promote an executive that will stay for 10 years rather than five.  Given that environment, “women give up their career efforts,” Wu said. The problem isn’t that Chinese men aren’t willing to work with women leaders, he noted.

“Joint-stock” national commercial banks that have more than one dominant shareholder had an even lower 7.6% of top jobs held by women – 10 banks among the group have a total of only six women in senior posts, according to Deloitte figures.  City commercial banks had 19.8% and rural commercial banks has 17%.

The solution, said Wu, requires “conscious” action by institutions to promote more women in the absence of an increase in the national retirement age.  Wu said China should require all banks to have at least one woman in a senior role, and raise the retirement age for women to the same as men.  

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Women account for 48.9% of China’s 1.4 billion people, according to Deloitte figures.

, China’s Biggest Commercial Banks Badly Lag In Gender Balance At Top Positions, The Nzuchi News Forbes

Other event participants included Lise Nordgaard, consul general of Norway in

Shanghai , Lin Jialei, program manager for UN Women China, Turid Solvang, founder of FutureBoards Norway, David Wu, vice chairman of Deloitte China, Therese Trulsen, chairman of the Norwegian Business Association, Jonas Jolle, co-head of governance at Norge Bank Investment Management, Wang Dequan, Matts Johansen, CEO of Aker Bio Marine, Xiao Lingxiao, chief of staff at McKinsey Greater China, and Charline Liu, the founder of Ladies Who Tech. Forbes China, the Chinese edition of Forbes, was a media supporter.

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@rflannerychina

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