Saint-Gobain Asia-Pacific Region conducted a half-day workshop on October 17th, at the occasion of the publication of the book “How Chinese Women Rise” which is sponsored by Saint-Gobain. With the participation of about 25 top executives from all businesses in China the workshop started with a brief introduction by Javier Gimeno on our current status on gender diversity and the target that has been set for the whole region.
The author, Dr. Bettina Al-Sadik-Lowinski, a trusted expert in women leadership research, shared her 5-year research results on career development of female Chinese executives in top management of multinational companies. Using the Female Career Model created by herself, she found that contrary to what people might expect, China has a higher proportion of women in senior executive roles than almost all other countries in the world. Through face to face interviews of 35 Chinese female executives, including several from Saint-Gobain China, she discovered that all these women executives have some strengths to make themselves different, they are mostly: team player, change agent, high performer, powerful and motivated, positive about competition, global mindset, mobile, flexible and adaptable etc… She expects that these successful Chinese women and their career experiences can serve as role models for women around the world.
The brain storming session provided a good opportunity for our top executives to discuss together on how to drive diversity in their respective business. Encouragement, engagement, mentoring, showcasing, working together etc… are the keywords defined to create proper conditions to attract and retain best female talents. A short term simple and achievable action plan has been done by every participant as their takeaway of this workshop.
Just as indicated by Javier during the opening: Gender diversity is not only a matter of ethics and social responsibility, it’s also a question of business efficiency as is proven that equality gender organizations are better than mono-gender companies both in terms of growth and profitability.