Happy marriage is biggest sign of success for Shanghai’s career women, survey says

Happiness begins at home for educated professionals, where they can be found doing most of the childcare, study says

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 October, 2017, 3:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 October, 2017, 3:40pm

A happy marriage and family life are the clearest indicators of a woman’s success, according to a survey of, mostly married, middle-aged career women in Shanghai.

According to the poll, which was conducted by local women’s associations, having a happy home was picked by 68 per cent of respondents as an indicator of success, followed by the pursuit of personal goals and ambitions with 67 per cent, China News Service reported on Saturday.

The report did not say how many women were questioned, but stated that about 80 per cent of them were aged between 36 and 55 and that 90 per cent were married.

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Fewer than half of the respondents said they considered good health as a sign of success.

Almost 70 per cent of the women surveyed were educated to master’s degree level. All were employed – across 19 disciplines in the public and private sectors – with the vast majority, 85 per cent, working in the fields of education, medicine, science or technology.

Despite 90 per cent of the career women being married, just half said their husbands shared the job of taking care of the children.

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Mao Zedong once famously declared that “women hold up half the sky”, and in communist China they certainly do their fair share of the work.

According to the World Bank, 63 per cent of women in China’s mainland have jobs outside the home, compared to 56 per cent in the United States, 53 per cent in Hong Kong and 27 per cent in India. The global average is 49 per cent.

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Nonetheless, gender discrimination remains commonplace. While many of the world’s developed democracies have women as their leaders, just two of the 25 members of China’s all-powerful Politburo are women.

Despite the imbalance, just 47 per cent of the women polled called for the government to speed up efforts to address gender discrimination at work.