The award is part of Zhaopin's China Annual Best Employers Awards. The China Annual Best Employers for Female Employees award was initiated by Zhaopin in 2011, with the previous selection criteria based on the votes of female internet users in several key areas. By building up the partnership this year, UN Women will integrate the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) into the award selection criteria. WEPs are a set of globally recognized principles on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community, jointly developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
UN Women will design a survey based on WEPs and a professional panel of judges will rate the nominees and choose the winners. From this perspective, the award will focus more strongly on whether the companies have internally created a women-friendly workplace and empowered women, going beyond the impression of female internet users. By having the companies reflect on their current policies with reference to gender equality, UN Women hopes to encourage the participation of the private sectors to contribute to gender equality, as well as provide incentives for companies to adopt more policies to foster gender diversity in China.
Gender diversity is not yet considered as a strategic imperative for many Chinese companies. Data from the Third Chinese Women's Social Status survey revealed that urban women's income was 67.3 percent of men's, and rural women's income was 56 percent that of their male counterparts in 2010. These numbers have fallen from 77.5 percent and 79 percent respectively since 1990. According to McKinsey's research, women account for more than 50 percent of university graduates in China, but only take up 8 percent of board members and 1 percent of CEOs. However, gender equality will bring to companies significant benefits, including business benefits. Diverse and engaged units in hospitality have a 58% higher net profit than single gender and less engaged units, according to Gallup's research.
More and more companies, both in China and abroad, have seen this trend. Globally, more than 1,400 companies have committed their support to WEPs. Julie Broussard, country programme manager of UN Women China, said, "Private sector companies can play an important role in promoting gender equality. The partnership with Zhaopin on the China Annual Best Employers for Female Employees will be another solid step to promote equal employment and women's empowerment in China".
(Source: China Daily)
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