China / Society

Second-child policy likely to put women at disadvantage in job hunting

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-19 15:56

CHANGCHUN - Wang Qing is frustrated. At an ongoing job fair for Chinese college graduates, she has been repeatedly told by employers that women are not welcome for the best jobs.

"One interviewer told me that I am qualified but declined for the job, but with women soon to be able to have a second child, they will face more work-life balance problems. Employers just don't want to hire women," said the graduate from Jilin University in northeast China.

Wang is attending one of the largest job fairs in northeast China. More than 750 employers including public institutions and companies like Shougang and Toyota have more than 40,000 jobs on offer with 30,000 graduates like Wang fighting for them.

Female job hunters were frequently told that women are not suitable for jobs that require lots of business trips or extra-hours of work. They are most often declined by IT and technical firms.

"Exactly what positions can girls fit? " shouted an angry female job seeker at a job enrolment booth.

"As a female postgraduate, I am embarrassed by the fair. I was frequently knocked back by companies saying no girls were not wanted or that boys were preferred without even giving girls an interview," said Liu Xinxin from the Economic Institute with Jilin University.

Wang Pei'an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told a news conference by the end of October that women are likely to face employment difficulties and workplace prejudices, as one of the challenges of the second-child policy.

According to a survey by the Women's Federation in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, a female college graduate will get a job after an average of 8.4 interviews, 2.1 more than their male peers.

Zhong Xin, head of employment service center with the Jilin University, said it usually takes a longer job hunting period for girls than boys to get a job at their graduation, although girls' employment rate is even higher than boys because girls' general academic performance are better.

At recruitment, employers usually take into consideration of the losses incurred by maternity and lactation leave, so taking time to care for children and family puts women at a disadvantage.

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