Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gender Equality Through Capitalism

Girls born after the Cultural Revolution are much less likely to have been spoilt, which means some employers see them as good hires. Liam Casey, the boss of PCH China Solutions, a contract-manufacturer in southern China, says he once noticed in a shopping mall that there were typically groups of seven people or groups of three. The groups of seven consisted of two sets of grandparents, parents and a boy. Those of three comprised parents and a daughter. He says he realised then that girls were valued less by society and that if he hired them and showed them loyalty, they would be more loyal in return. This is one reason, he says, that his business has much lower rates of staff turnover than his rivals' businesses do.
I always say that you can be greedy or you can be sexist but you can't be both. If Chinese society chooses to undervalue the contributions of women, then smart businesses can take advantage of this for their benefit.
But even hiring women is getting harder. In Zhuhai another foreign manufacturer which hires staff from all over China says it prefers to recruit women too. The managers believe that women are generally harder-working and tend to stay longer. But schools and universities have cottoned on to this now and set quotas on the number of women that firms can recruit. The company says that for every group of women it selects, it now has to hire a share of men too.
Nice. Instead of the Chinese telling the men to get their act together they choose to implement an affirmative action program for them.

via The Economist


Audacious Epigone said...

Those who believe affirmative action of any kind is necessary do not believe in free markets, quite simply.

Fat Knowledge said...

Well true, but sometimes I don't believe in free markets. :)

Audacious Epigone said...

Me either.

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