Gender gap still wide at top of Taiwan businesses: official

Although the percentage of women in top-level positions in Taiwan businesses is at a record high, there is still a big gap in the ratio of male to female chief executive officers, a Ministry of Finance (MOF) official said Sunday, citing statistics from the ministry.

As of the end of 2015, there were approximately 1.33 million companies in Taiwan, 36.1 percent of which were headed by women, the official said.

However, although the percentage of female CEOs was the highest in Taiwan's history, it still represented a wide gender gap and was only a 0.5 percentage point increase from 2010, according to the official.

In fact, the official said, the gender gap was most likely wider than about 28 percentage points since in some cases women are only nominal heads of businesses that are actually run by their husbands.

In a breakdown of the various sectors, the statistics showed that about 45 percent of companies in the catering and restaurant, and service industries were run by female CEOs in 2015.

In the other industries in general, 60 percent of the CEOs were male, and the figure was more than 70 percent in the construction, manufacturing and transport, and storage sectors, according to the statistics.

Among businesses with paid-in capital of over NT$10 million, the gap between male and female CEOs was 49 percentage points in favor of males, while among those with paid-in capital of less than NT$100,000, the gap was 18 percentage points, the data showed.

The MOF official said the huge gender gap at the top of bigger companies reflected a Taiwan tradition of business owners passing control to their sons rather than to their daughters.

In the case of smaller companies in the catering and restaurant, and service sectors, however, they are usually started by female entrepreneurs, the official said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel