A recent U.S. survey shows that more than three quarters of Chinese tech start ups have women in senior executive roles, compared to about half in the U.S. and Britain. Tara Jospeh reports
It's a far cry from Beijing's political establishment. China's booming start-up scene has plenty of women in high level positions, and they're beating out their western peers. (SOUNDBITE) (English): TARA JOSEPH, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "A recent U.S. survey shows that more than three quarters of Chinese tech start ups have women in senior executive roles, compared to about half in the U.S. and Britain. The tech world in China is a fresh blueprint for women to climb up the career ladder compared to the male dominated model of stodgy state-owned firms. And even though China's communist revolution pushed women out of the house to work decades ago, this sector shows a lot more promise for those who are self determined." Li Xiaoyan studied computer science in university and joined one of China's leading Internet and online game services providers Netease five years ago. Now she's running a team of 80 people developing virtual reality products. (SOUNDBITE) (English): LI XIAOYAN, NETEASE EMPLOYEE, SAYING: "I think the challenge for now is still small. The biggest question is if you have the capability. The challenge is in yourself. The challenge is whether you can break the labels put on you. like to think oh I'm a woman I should stay at home or I should only do subsidiary role. Society is becoming more tolerant and encouraging. You should dare to think and do." A patriarchal government and state-owned business sector may still exist in China... But university education, the ability to travel and life in the dotcom era are giving a growing number of women a different perspective on the world. As for technology, one research report says that the average tech-savy lady in China owns as many as five electronic devices... And 15 percent say they'd rather to give up their families for a month than their smartphones.