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Gender bias a failing of employers

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-06 08:19

NEARLY 76 PERCENT OF JOB-SEEKING GRADUATES have faced employment discrimination on the basis of their gender, educational background, and in some cases their hometowns and astrological signs, according to a recent survey on graduate employment. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Sunday:

Among all kinds of discrimination, the preference for male employees has long been a sore point in the job market of many countries.

Legislative attempts have been made globally to address the dilemma of discrimination toward women in the job market. The United States has passed laws guaranteeing equal pay and access to employment to protect underprivileged job seekers, including women.

China, too, has made notable progress in reducing gender discrimination at work by improving the relevant labor law and other rules. The participation of women in the workforce in China is about 70 percent, among the highest in the world.

But there is still a long way to go to eliminate the outdated gender-oriented thinking of employers. The opportunities for upward mobility remain scarce for women in China, who often have to work harder and deliver better performance than their male colleagues to get promoted. Those female job-hunters who do not have college degrees and need work experience can face severe discrimination.

It is worrying that female workers may come under heavier pressure now the country has loosened its family planning policy and allowed families to have a second child. A second pregnancy could cost many women the opportunity to achieve greater professional success and higher pay.

Different approaches are needed to urge employers to fulfill their "equal work, equal pay" commitments. Companies preferring male employees are more likely to fail when fair competition is guaranteed.

On their part, the labor management authorities should be careful not to manipulate the market-oriented payment system while trying to reduce inequalities.

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