Liu Yandong

Liu Yandong served alongside President Hu Jintao in the China Youth League and has an outside chance of becoming the first woman member of the Politburo Standing Committee. She rose to prominence through the influential United Front Work Department and at the 17th party congress in 2007, she was made a Politburo member in charge of health, education, science and sports. Her elevation is seen by political observers a strong message that China's political sphere is evolving.

Sun Chunlan. Photo: EPA

Women in China still not equal to men

If a new survey by an international accounting group is correct, half (51 per cent) of senior management jobs in mainland companies are now held by women. This places the mainland ahead of Hong Kong, other Asian economies and such Western countries as the United States and Britain, according to the report by Grant Thornton International, which surveyed chief executives and chairmen of 6,627 companies in all industry sectors around the world.