Chinese working mums face hiring bar

08:30, January 14, 2011      

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Chinese companies have become unwilling to employ working mothers on concerns that they would be less committed to their jobs, less flexible and may possess out-dated skills, a research firm said yesterday.

Only 36 percent of companies in China intend to hire more working mothers in 2011, compared with 44 percent last year and 50 percent in 2009, Regus said.

Globally speaking, 45 percent of companies intend to recruit working mums in 2011, which means Chinese companies' willingness to do the same is considerably below global level. It has caused concern from families and women's groups, said Regus, which interviewed 10,000 business people globally during August and September 2010.

"Chinese companies are missing opportunities of employing working mothers. The majority of firms now agree that barring the door to working mums means shutting out valuable staff," said Hans Leijten, Regus' vice president of East Asia.

Regus' report also revealed that half of employers were concerned that working mothers may possess out-dated skills and 49 percent of them worried about mothers' lack of work-time flexibility compared with other employees.

Globally, 37 percent of employers mentioned less commitment and lack of flexibility and 33 percent of them were concerned mothers would leave to have another child after undergoing trainings, Regus said.

But a majority of firms globally now value returning mothers more, with 72 percent saying they believe companies that ignore part-time returning mothers are missing out on a valuable segment of the labor pool. In addition, 56 percent of firms regard working mums as having skills that are difficult to find currently, said Regus.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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