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Survey: Firms have little special perks for women
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-07 10:12

Most Shanghai-based companies don't have special benefits for female employees, according to a recent survey.

Zhaopin.com, one of the country's leading Web-based headhunters, asked more than 4,000 females and 1,000 males, via the Internet, about their attitude towards women in the workplace.

More than 63 percent of female office workers surveyed said their company didn't have any preferential policies or welfare for women. While 32 percent of female respondents said the only benefit they had was one-day off on International Women's Day, which is tomorrow.

Many respondents complained about inflexible working schedules or being forced to return from maternity leave early.

About 2 percent of female respondents said the only perk they had were makeup rooms and larger toilets than men.

Only 3 percent of women respondents said they were given one-day of sick leave every month, the survey reported.

Jennifer Chen, 26, sales manager of a joint venture based in Shanghai, said the absence of special welfare for women is unfair.

"Female job applicants are always turned down because companies don't want to offer special welfare to women, but actually we receive nothing," Chen said.

A survey of mostly professional women in Shanghai at the end of last year, also by Zhaopin, indicated nearly 33 percent of women encountered gender discrimination during the hiring process. Some employers refused to hire women even if they were more qualified than male candidates. Nearly 30 percent of women said they had to make more of an effort than men to get a job.

"We have to work harder to compete with men, why can't we get more welfare?" Chen asked.

Zheng Guizhen, director of Fudan University's Gender and Development Studies Center, said working women did deserve more care from employers and society.

"Women have special physical and mental demands as they are expected to take care of the home as well as holding a career," she said.

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