Business / Economy

Fortune shines on country's leading women in industry

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2014-11-15 10:20

Fortune China, the Chinese-language version of Fortune magazine, has released a 25-strong list of what it considers the country's most powerful businesswomen, insisting they are no less competitive or successful than their male counterparts.

Fortune shines on country's leading women in industry

The magazine said those on the list could actually claim to be better leaders, given their dual roles in many cases of being successful wives and mothers as well as captains of industry and commerce.

It makes the case that their sharp minds, strong willpower and more flexible approach to business offer more advantages in leadership and business management.

The women on the list are from various sectors, including manufacturing, banking, communication, e-commerce, the automotive industry, real estate, as well as other Internet-related sectors.

Ranked third on the list is Zhang Xin, chief executive officer at prime office real-estate developer SOHO China Ltd, who said she considered businesswomen much better at finding a successful work/life balance.

"I try to go home at 7 pm to be with my family. At home, I am not an CEO but a wife and a mother," said Zhang, who is also the wife of SOHO's president Pan Shiyi.

Liu Chong, one of the magazine's editors, said the powerful businesswoman were chosen not only for their ability to lead companies to a higher business performance, but also for their contribution to society.

The female business leaders have also proved more willing or able in many cases to embrace changing industrial trends, said Liu, none more so than the woman at the top of this year's list, Gree Electric Appliances Inc Chairwoman and President Dong Mingzhu.

Dong has been instrumental in growing the company's online services, particularly.

"As a major player in the traditional manufacturing sector, we have attached great importance to the Internet business by launching online sales," Dong said.

The Guangdong-based company reported 132.5 million yuan ($21.6 million) in online sales this week during the Nov 11 Singles' Day online shopping spree, selling more than 47,000 air conditioners, for instance, according to figures released by the company. Its sales increased by 12.7 percent year-on-year to surpass 100 billion yuan in the first three quarters.

"We have always given priority to technology and innovation research to make better products, but we will not develop without embracing the booming Internet industry," Dong told China Daily.

A survey by recruiting firm Hays earlier this year showed that 36 percent of management roles in China are now held by women, compared with the Asian average of 28 percent.

Of the new Chinese list, 10 were also included in a separate list of Asia's most influential businesswomen, released in September by Fortune.

Li Yongning, a professor with the Guangdong Research Institute for International Strategies at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said more women are expected to take top management positions in future.

"Women are born to be more attentive and sensitive than men and are proving more competitive in the services sector and other booming Internet-related industries, which will characterize China's future economy," said Li.

Fortune shines on country's leading women in industry Fortune shines on country's leading women in industry
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