Gender News in Taiwan
Record Number of Women in Top Posts, Data Show

【By Abraham Gerber】

The overall percentage of women in high-ranking business and government positions has reached a record high, according to figures released yesterday by the Ministry of Labor.

Ministry statistics indicate increases in female participation across a range of positions since 2005, although percentages for higher-ranking positions lag behind those for low-level jobs.

The data showed that there were about 98,000 female elected representatives, supervisors and managers last year, comprising 25.3 percent of the nation’s total, up from 16.3 percent in 2005.

The ministry also found that the percentage of female professionals — a category that includes positions such as engineers, doctors, lawyers and analysts — has remained flat over the past decade at slightly more than 50 percent, while the percentage of female technical personnel showed modest gains, rising from 41 percent in 2005 to 49 percent last year.

Ministry data also showed substantial increases in the representation of women at different levels of the government, with more than half of mid-level officials now female, up from 42.5 percent in 2005.

The percentage of female senior officials increased from 18.8 percent in 2005 to 30.6 percent last year, while among appointed officials the percentage of women increased from 12 percent in 2005 to 19.7 percent last year. The percentage of women heading government agencies and departments — from borough wardens to city mayors — increased from 6.7 percent to 15.8 percent over the same period.

“These figures reflect the greater educational opportunities for women now as the ‘glass ceiling’ crumbles,” Ministry of Labor Department of Statistics Director-General Lo Yi-ling said.

“The difference among [elected representatives, supervisors and managers] is quite large, because regulation has helped us achieve an extremely high percentage of women among elected representatives. This pulls up the average even though the percentage of women in other positions is quite low,” Awakening Foundation secretary-general Chyn Yu-rong said.

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