The existing scholarship on women in China suggests that gender inequality still exists against the background of the country’s reform and opening in recent years. However, the situation of women in enterprise ownership and leadership seems to indicate that despite such notions of disadvantage amongst women, some of them are playing a more active and significant role in China’s economic development. Based on a series of interviews with female enterprise owners, wives of enterprise owners and women managers conducted in diverse locations in three difference provinces of China, Tiger Girls examines the deeper realities of women entrepreneurs in China, and by extension the role of leading women in the workforce.
By analyzing information on these women’s personal experiences, careers and families, this book investigates their status at work and at home, as well as their connections with local politics. The research results suggest that although traces of gender inequality can still be found in these women’s lives, they appear to be actively engaged in the business establishment and operation and gradually casting off the leash of domestic responsibilities.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese Studies, Chinese Business, Chinese Economics and Asian Studies.
Minglu Chen is ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Government and International Relations at Sydney University, Australia.
Introduction: Tiger Girls and Private Enterprise Part 1: Jiaocheng County, Shanxi Province 1. Industrial Heartland and Women Entrepreneurs 2. Women and Economic Leadership 3. Political Connections and the Importance of Family Part 2: Qiongshan District, Hainan Province 4. The Paradoxes of Paradise 5. Hainan Men and ‘Old Father Tea’ 6. The Limited Influence of the Party-State Part 3: Mianyang City, Sichuan Province 7. Industry and Wealth 8. The Challenges of Work and Family 9. Women in Politics. Conclusion: Enterprise Leadership, Politics and the Local