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Shanghai: Sex bias exists in local job market
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-09 08:32

Sexual discrimination remains rife when female university graduates seek employment, according to a survey published Sunday by the Shanghai Women's Federation.

Only 8.7 per cent of female job applicants for civil servant posts have been employed, lower than 11.7 per cent of male graduates.

The survey, which questioned 1,000 graduates from 10 local universities, found that 21.7 per cent of female graduates wished to work in State organs.

A female law postgraduate from Shanghai University, who wished to remain anonymous, was even refused at her last interview with a local court on the grounds of sex and age.

"Sexual discrimination does exist, but in some places like schools or hospitals, choosing more males is just for balancing the proportion of men and women," said Lu Jianmin, director of the federation's Women Study Centre.

But 55.8 per cent of female graduates surveyed said they were discriminated against while seeking jobs.

A company said in its recruitment advertisement that applicants must be able to play football, which would rule out female graduates, the survey said.

Representatives of female graduates from 10 local universities said at a panel discussion held by the federation that discrimination is also reflected in salaries, with male graduates having an average income of 2,706 yuan (US$330) and women receiving 2,441 yuan (US$300).

Most female graduates said in the discussion that being a graduate from a prestigious university, personal communication skills and academic qualifications were also important when seeking employment.

Female graduates from Fudan University, one of the city's top academic institutions, for example, are expected to earn an average monthly salary of 3,660 yuan (US$443), much higher than those from other universities.

But Lu said "it is often the case that women are discriminated in one place, but not in another place."

According to the survey, university students are still considering Shanghai as the first place to start their career after graduation.

More than 98 per cent of graduates originally from Shanghai and 68.2 per cent of Shanghai university graduates who are from other provinces have listed the city as their most preferred place to work, said Wan Renjiao, a professor from Shanghai Power College, who helped conduct the survey.

"This is because they consider the city as a place that is promising, full of opportunities and provides a rather high income," Wan said.

Some graduates will go to cities in coastal Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces to work after they fail to seek jobs in Shanghai.

"The Yangtze River Delta, for example, is developing in a speed that no other places in the country can compare, which provides a bright future for their career development," Wan said.

According to the survey, the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions have received 92 per cent of graduates from Shanghai universities. Few graduates are willing to work in central and western China.

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