Zhaopin: Chinese Women Still Facing Discrimination in Workplace - Mar 6, 2017

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Zhaopin: Chinese Women Still Facing Discrimination in Workplace

Mar 6, 2017

BEIJING, March 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Zhaopin Limited (NYSE: ZPIN) ("Zhaopin" or the "Company"), a leading career platform1 in China focused on connecting users with relevant job opportunities throughout their career lifecycle, today released its "2017 Report on the Current Situation of Chinese Women in the Workplace." The report found that Chinese women still face gender discrimination in employment opportunities and career development.

Zhaopin conducted its annual survey on women in the workplace to understand the situation and environment for women in their employment opportunities, promotions, career paths and goals. More than 128,500 people participated in the survey this year.

Highlights of Zhaopin 2017 survey on women in the workplace:

  • About 22% of women experienced severe or very severe discrimination when seeking employment, compared with 14% of men.
  • Better educated women were more likely to be discriminated against when they applied for jobs. About 43% of women with graduate degrees felt severe or very severe discrimination, compared with only 18% of men with the same level of education.
  • In career development, 25% of women experienced severe or very severe discrimination in promotions, compared with 18% of men.
  • It took longer time for women to get promoted. About 59% of men were promoted for the first time within two years of employment, compared with 49% of women. Meanwhile, 44% of women never got promoted, compared with 31% of men.
  • As to barriers to promotions, women were more likely to attribute the lack of promotion to personal reasons. About 40% of women believed that they lacked the competence or experience required for being promoted, compared with 32% of men.
  • Leadership positions were still dominated by men in China. About 72% of participants had men as their direct supervisors, while only 28% had women as supervisors.

Women still facing gender discrimination when seeking employment

Gender discrimination against women has been an issue for a long time. Even though the government and other organizations have been making efforts to drive equality in the workplace, women still experience severe gender discrimination in both their employment opportunities and career development, Zhaopin survey found.

In the process of seeking employment, 22% of women experienced severe or very severe discrimination, compared with 14% of men. About 27% of men believed there was no, or almost no, discrimination, compared with 18% of women, the survey found.

Gender Discrimination When Seeking Employment


Overall

Men

Women

Very severe

3%

2%

3%

Severe

15%

12%

19%

Hard to say

59%

60%

59%

Almost no

19%

22%

16%

No

4%

5%

2%

The gender discrimination experienced by women when they sought employment varied with age, marital status and educational background. Women aged 25 to 34 felt discrimination most strongly.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Age When Seeking Employment


Age 21-24

Age 25-29

Age 30-34

Age 35-39

Age 40-44

Age 45-49

Over 50

Very severe

2%

4%

4%

4%

2%

1%

4%

Severe

16%

21%

22%

18%

13%

16%

8%

Hard to say

62%

58%

56%

57%

60%

60%

51%

Almost no

17%

15%

16%

18%

22%

21%

24%

No

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

3%

14%

Married women without children were more likely to be discriminated against when applying for employment because some employers worried that they would have children after being hired.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Marital Status When Seeking Employment


Not married

Married without children

Married with children

Very severe

3%

6%

3%

Severe

19%

28%

17%

Hard to say

60%

51%

60%

Almost no

16%

13%

19%

No

2%

2%

2%

Better educated women were more likely to be discriminated against when they applied for jobs, the survey found. About 43% of women with graduate degrees felt severe or very severe discrimination, compared with only 18% of men with the same level of education.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Education When Seeking Employment


High school/ equivalent

Associate degree

Undergraduate degree

Graduate degree


Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Men

Women

Very severe

4%

3%

2%

3%

2%

4%

2%

7%

Severe

10%

9%

11%

15%

12%

24%

16%

36%

Hard to say

56%

61%

59%

62%

61%

57%

60%

48%

Almost no

22%

23%

23%

18%

21%

14%

17%

8%

No

7%

4%

5%

2%

4%

2%

5%

2%

Discrimination against women more palpable in promotions

According to Zhaopin's survey, 25% of women experienced severe or very severe discrimination in promotions, compared with 18% of men. Meanwhile, about 26% of men said there was no, or almost no, discrimination in promotions, compared with 19% of women.

Gender Discrimination in Promotions


Overall

Men

Women

Very severe

4%

4%

4%

Severe

17%

14%

21%

Hard to say

56%

56%

56%

Almost no

19%

21%

16%

No

4%

5%

3%

Women aged 25 to 34 are in a critical stage of their career development, but they were also the groups who felt the most intense discrimination in promotions.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Age in Promotions


Age 21-24

Age 25-29

Age 30-34

Age 35-39

Age 40-44

Age 45-49

Over 50

Very severe

3%

5%

5%

5%

4%

4%

6%

Severe

18%

23%

23%

22%

18%

16%

6%

Hard to say

59%

55%

52%

52%

55%

58%

51%

Almost no

17%

15%

16%

19%

19%

20%

22%

No

3%

3%

3%

2%

4%

3%

16%

In terms of marital status, married women without children experienced more severe discrimination in promotions.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Marital Status in Promotions


Not married

Married without children

Married with children

Very severe

4%

6%

4%

Severe

21%

24%

21%

Hard to say

57%

53%

54%

Almost no

16%

15%

18%

No

3%

3%

3%

As in the employment process, the better educated, the more likely were women to be discriminated against in promotions. About 35% of women with graduate degrees felt severe or very severe discrimination in promotions.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Education in Promotions


High school/
equivalent

Associate
degree

Undergraduate
degree

Graduate
degree

Very severe

4%

4%

5%

7%

Severe

15%

19%

24%

28%

Hard to say

56%

57%

55%

51%

Almost no

21%

18%

14%

11%

No

5%

3%

2%

2%

For women in different positions, the higher level the positions they had, the less discrimination they experienced in promotions.

Women Experiencing Discrimination by Positions in Promotions


Ordinary
employees

Professional
employees

Low-level
managers

Mid-level
managers

Senior-level
managers

Very severe

4%

5%

4%

4%

4%

Severe

21%

27%

20%

19%

14%

Hard to say

57%

52%

55%

51%

49%

Almost no

15%

14%

18%

22%

25%

No

2%

2%

3%

4%

7%

Zhaopin also found in its survey that it took a longer time for women to get promoted. About 59% of men were promoted for the first time within two years of employment, compared with 49% of women. Meanwhile, 44% of women never got promoted, compared with 31% of men.

Time Needed for the First Promotion


Overall

Men

Women

Never promoted

37%

31%

44%

Within 1 year

29%

31%

27%

1-2 years

25%

28%

22%

3-5 years

8%

9%

6%

Over 5 years

1%

2%

1%

Women more prudent in the workplace

Zhaopin's survey indicated that women were more conservative in seeking job opportunities. Women were much more likely to only apply for positions for which they strongly matched the job requirements, while men were more willing to apply even if they did not match certain job requirements.

Job Applications by Matching

Match with job requirements

Overall

Men

Women

Below 30%

5%

6%

4%

40% to 60%

37%

38%

35%

Over 70%

58%

56%

61%

Women were less confident in their career development and tended to expect a longer time required for their next promotion, Zhaopin found in the survey. About 65% of men had clear expectation for their next promotion, compared with 59% of women. About 32% of women had no idea about their next promotion, compared with 26% of men.

Time Needed for the Next Promotion


Overall

Men

Women

Within 1 year

20%

21%

19%

1-2 years

34%

34%

33%

3-5 years

8%

9%

7%

Over 5 years

1%

1%

0%

Can't tell

29%

26%

32%

No hope

9%

9%

9%

As to barriers to promotions, the survey found clear differences between women and men. Women were more likely to attribute lack of promotion to personal reasons. About 40% of women believed that they lacked the competence or experience required for being promoted, compared with 32% of men. Meanwhile, men tended to blame external factors, such as not being appreciated by their supervisors, or losing a chance by transferring to a new position.

Key Barriers to Promotions


Overall

Men

Women

Limited promotion opportunities offered by companies

55%

55%

54%

Lack of competence and experience

35%

32%

40%

Competition among coworkers with equivalent qualifications

25%

25%

26%

Not qualified

20%

20%

20%

Not appreciated by manager

16%

18%

14%

Lost chance by transferring to a new position

12%

13%

11%

Need more time with family

12%

11%

12%

Hidden rules in office

5%

6%

5%

Poor relationship with coworkers

4%

5%

4%

Women believed that their biggest challenges in the workplace were unclear career path and lack of professional guidance, while men saw career transition as their biggest challenge, according to Zhaopin's survey.

Key Challenges in the Workplace


Overall

Men

Women

Difficulty in career transition

30%

32%

26%

Unclear career path

29%

27%

31%

Lack of professional guidance

28%

25%

31%

Need to keep learning

27%

27%

27%

Lack of resources/relationship

26%

27%

23%

Lack of chance and time to improve skills

26%

26%

26%

No hope for promotions

21%

22%

19%

Career burnout

20%

19%

21%

Imbalance between work and life

19%

22%

15%

Lack of self confidence

17%

13%

21%

Others

1%

1%

1%

For future career development, more women chose to improve personal value and strength, and take more challenging work, while men gave more priority to extending relations and accumulating resources, and being promoted to be a leader/manager.

Career Development Priorities


Overall

Men

Women

Improve personal value and strength

51%

48%

56%

Take more challenging work

47%

46%

50%

Extend relations and accumulate resources

31%

33%

29%

Promote to leader/manager

30%

32%

26%

Clear career path

28%

26%

32%

Realize financial freedom

21%

19%

25%

Give more priority to family

21%

23%

19%

Improve skills to become an expert

19%

24%

13%

Become a freelancer

5%

5%

4%

Fewer women in leadership roles

Zhaopin found in the survey that the leadership positions were still dominated by men in China. About 72% of participants had men as their supervisors, and only 28% had women as their supervisors.

Leadership Positions by Gender

Men as leaders

72%

Women as leaders

28%

Both men and women had consistent opinions on characteristics of successful women, the survey found. The top characteristics of successful women were influencing others with positive values, loving themselves and caring about others, having their own attitude in lives, and respectful personality and charisma. Each characteristic is measured at 1 to 5, with 5 as the most valued.

Characteristics of Successful Women


Overall

Men

Women

Influencing others with positive values

4.40

4.27

4.58

Loving themselves and caring about others

4.40

4.28

4.55

Having their own attitude in lives

4.31

4.17

4.49

Respectful personality and charisma

4.31

4.17

4.49

Happy family life

4.19

4.08

4.35

Responsibility and empathy

4.12

3.98

4.30

Achievement in her professional field

3.95

3.77

4.19

Married with an excellent partner

3.66

3.49

3.89

Social influence/status

3.58

3.46

3.75

About Zhaopin Limited

Zhaopin is a leading career platform in China, focusing on connecting users with relevant job opportunities throughout their career lifecycle. The Company's zhaopin.com website is the most popular career platform in China as measured by average daily unique visitors in each of the 12 months ended December 31, 2016, number of registered users as of December 31, 2016 and number of unique customers2 for the three months ended December 31, 2016. The Company's over 129.5 million registered users include diverse and educated job seekers who are at various stages of their careers and are in demand by employers as a result of the general shortage of skilled and educated workers in China. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, approximately 36.9 million job postings3 were placed on Zhaopin's platform by 509,813 unique customers including multinational corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and state-owned entities. The quality and quantity of Zhaopin's users and the resumes in the Company's database attract an increasing number of customers. This in turn leads to more users turning to Zhaopin as their primary recruitment and career- related services provider, creating strong network effects and significant entry barriers for potential competitors. For more information, please visit http://www.zhaopin.com.

Safe Harbor Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements made under the "safe harbor" provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," "confident" and similar statements. Zhaopin may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its reports filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Any statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Zhaopin's beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements that involve factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such factors and risks include, but not limited to the following: Zhaopin's goals and strategies; its future business development, financial condition and results of operations; its ability to retain and grow its user and customer base for its online career platform; the growth of, and trends in, the markets for its services in China; the demand for and market acceptance of its brand and services; competition in its industry in China; its ability to maintain the network infrastructure necessary to operate its website and mobile applications; relevant government policies and regulations relating to the corporate structure, business and industry; and its ability to protect its users' information and adequately address privacy concerns. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All information provided in this press release is current as of the date of the press release, and Zhaopin does not undertake any obligation to update such information, except as required under applicable law.

For more information, please contact:

Zhaopin Limited 
Ms. Daisy Wang 
Investor Relations
ir@zhaopin.com.cn

ICR Beijing
Mr. Edmond Lococo
Phone: +86 10 6583-7510
Edmond.Lococo@icrinc.com

1. Zhaopin's website is the most popular career platform in China as measured by average daily unique visitors in each of the 12 months ended December 31, 2016, the number of registered users as of December 31, 2016 and the number of unique customers for the three months ended December 31, 2016.

2. A "unique customer" refers to a customer that purchases the Company's online recruitment services during a specified period. Zhaopin makes adjustments for multiple purchases by the same customer to avoid double counting. Each customer is assigned a unique identification number in the Company's information management system. Affiliates and branches of a given customer may, under certain circumstances, be counted as separate unique customers.

3. Zhaopin calculates the number of job postings by counting the number of newly placed job postings during each respective period. Job postings that were placed prior to a specified period - even if available during such period - are not counted as job postings for such period. Any particular job posting placed on the Company's website may include more than one job opening or position.

SOURCE Zhaopin Limited


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