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China ranks 2nd in female CEO percentage

China had the second-highest percentage of women chief executive officers in the world during the past decade after the United States and Canada, a private report showed.

The US and Canada had the highest percent of women CEOs between 2004 and 2013 at 3.2 percent, followed by China's 2.5 percent. Japan had the lowest rate of 0.8 percent, Strategy&, formerly known as Booz&Co prior to the takeover by PricewaterhouseCoopers, said in a report today.

“Women CEOs are still rare, but they are becoming more prevalent, and we expect that trend to accelerate,” the consultancy firm said in the report. “By 2040, we project that women will make up about a third of new CEO appointments.”

Companies in the information technology, consumer staples, and consumer discretionary industries had the highest percentages of women leaders while the materials industry had the lowest.

In China, women contribute half of the workforce. However, while 50 percent take up entry jobs the figure drops to 10 percent for senior positions. Although China has a high internal promotion rate for CEOs at 84 percent, the opportunities for women are limited, partially because they have an earlier retirement age compared to men.

To get around this, some women have chosen to run their own business. A quarter of China's entrepreneurs are female. Furthermore, half of the world's self-made female billionaires are from China, Sarah Butler, managing director of Strategy& in China, told Shanghai Daily.


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