China’s to boost working mothers



The head of Chinese travel giant, Jane Sun, is on a mission to propel women through her workforce, spearheading novel approaches such as encouraging babies on business trips and free egg freezing.
As a working mother, she understands the challenges faced by many women in China, whose participation in the labour force has been falling for decades.
She runs China’s largest online tourism agency and is one of the country’s business elite: a Silicon Valley returnee who moves in friendship circles with the likes of Alibaba founder Jack Ma and has the ear of the government. But as well as moving the business to new markets globally, Sun is also looking closer to home for growth.
She wants to drive female representation across the 45,000-strong workforce, including efforts to accommodate breastfeeding mothers by inviting them to take their babies along on work trips and introducing nursing rooms. Staff benefits include flexible working, free taxis for pregnant employees, and offering staff the option of freezing their eggs — funded by the company.
“I think we are really taking the leadership, and that pays off,” she said, with female representation at middle management level now 40 percent and one-third at executive level. “That number is even better than most of the companies in the Silicon Valley,” Sun said in an interview with AFP.—APP

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