Janet Yellen's Beijing Agenda: Empowering Women Economists
Breaking the monotony of male-dominated government leader meetings, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is slated to meet with female economists in Beijing on Saturday. This move, designed to highlight gender diversity, comes in the wake of her interactions with China's overwhelmingly male leadership.
The Yellen Doctrine: Promoting Female Participation in Global Economies
Having made history as the first female head of the U.S. Treasury, Yellen has tirelessly underscored the significance of women's contributions to the world economies. The championing of women's participation in the workforce and leadership positions has become the cornerstone of her tenure. Her global travels frequently include meetings with women economists and entrepreneurs, emphasizing the merit of fostering female economic participation.
Eyeing Diversity Outside Conventional Policy Structures
The anticipated lunch with Chinese economists is a strategic opportunity for Yellen, who also led the U.S. Federal Reserve as its first female head, to foster dialogue beyond conventional policy circles. However, the identities of the women who will be participating in this discourse remain undisclosed by the Treasury.
The Gender Imbalance in China's Political Landscape
Chinese President Xi Jinping's decade-long tenure has observed a decrease in the number of women in politics and top governmental roles, resulting in broadening gender gaps in the workforce. This paradigm shift has seen the government endorsing more traditional roles for women. Recently, the United Nations prompted China to establish statutory quotas and a gender parity system, hoping to augment women's representation in government.
China's Dismal Record on Women's Representation
According to a UN Committee report, women constitute barely 26% of the 14th National People's Congress deputies. For the first time in 20 years, there are no women representatives in the 24-member Politburo of the Communist Party of China. As of now, the highest-ranking female politician in China is Shen Yiqin, one of the five state councilors, holding a portfolio that includes social welfare, veteran affairs, and sports.
A Tale of Two Nations: Comparing Female Representation in the US and China
On the flip side, the gender diversity in the U.S. government starkly contrasts with China's. Yellen is one among the 13 women in President Joe Biden's 25-member Cabinet, making it the most gender-diverse cabinet in U.S. history. Women currently occupy one-quarter of the U.S. Senate and 28.7% of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to data from Rutgers University's Center for Women in Politics.
China's Struggles in Promoting Women Leadership in Industry
China also falls behind in female representation in the industrial sector. Recent findings from Bain & Company, and Spencer Stuart, a leadership advisory firm, show that women account for a mere 19% of top business executives, a figure considerably lower than the average of 25% in leading countries.