Holding Up Half of the Sky? Attitudes Toward Women as Managers in the People'S Republic of China

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Publication Title

International Journal of Human Resource Management


China has become a popular host country for multinational corporations since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001. However, there is a general lack of understanding of the Chinese culture and lack of empirical study on perception of women as managers in China. This study provides historical, cultural, social and legal contexts of the Chinese society and empirically compares attitudes toward women as managers among students and workers. Results show significant gender and sample effects. Further analysis revealed that the gender effect was stronger than the sample effect. Women have a much more positive, liberal and egalitarian attitude toward women as managers than men. However, the unfortunate similarities in attitudes toward women as managers between younger male students and older male workers show that we still have a while to wait before women really hold up half of the sky in China. Implications of these results are discussed based on the cultural and social contexts. Managerial implications are provided.

Original Citation

Bowen, C., Wu, Y., Hwang, C., Scherer, R. F. (2007). Holding up half of the sky? Attitudes toward women as managers in the People's Republic of China. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 18(2), 268-283. doi:10.1080/09585190601102455