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Philosophy of Philanthropy +| Should We Wait for over a Century till Women Achieve Pay Equality with Men?


On the occasion of the 109th anniversary of International Women’s Day, the “Rise of Her Power” Philosophy of Philanthropy salon was hosted by CGPI and China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI) in Beijing.

Photo of guests

This is the first salon of “Philosophy of Philanthropy+” with the theme “mothers who are forced to start a business” (https://zhibo.ifeng.com/video.html?liveid=125552), focusing on entrepreneurial women and discussing their helplessness and ideas when forced to start a business. This salon invited academia, enterprises, social organizations and female entrepreneurs to discuss on women's entrepreneurship, promoting women empowerment and helping their growth.

According to the ranking of women's status published by the World Economic Forum in 2018, China's ranking continues to decline: 91st in 2015, 99th in 2016, and 100th in 2017. The problem of gender equality in China is intensifying to some extent. The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 shows that it will take 118 years to eliminate the economic gap between gender completely.

Cheng Fen

“For international organizations, supporting women’s entrepreneurship often becomes a very important way of working when dealing with issues like economic inequality in world development.” Cheng Fen, Director of CGPI Philanthropy Research Center, shared her opinion on women’s entrepreneurship as a researcher and observer.

“Taking an overview of history, the progress of Chinese women’s status is worthy of being appreciated, but there is still a gap compared with international community. The value and vitality of women are gradually discovered and developed with the progress of society. If we want to change the status of economically disadvantaged groups, we should start from women and give them financial support and opportunities, including empowerment. Statistics show that helping women with poverty alleviation and improvement of livelihood through microfinance will have better effect than supporting men. Women’s entrepreneurship is forced at the beginning. However, it is life improvement and value development for them. Such forced entrepreneurship should have more opportunities to switch to initiative entrepreneurship.”


Lyu Pu

Lyu Pu, Project and Communication Manager of The Asia Foundation Beijing Representative Office, shared her experience about women’s entrepreneurship as a project officer responsible for women’s entrepreneurship support program. Lyu Pu said, “Entrepreneurship is not as simple as imagined. I want to help women better balance their families and lives through entrepreneurship while in fact all these will only make them busier. But entrepreneurship is a very rewarding thing. Individuals will become more communicative and deal with many things that they had no way or opportunity to deal with in ordinary work, and this makes themselves leaders.”

Wang Yongzhuang

Wang Yongzhuang, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility of Vipshop, shared the case of women’s empowerment entrepreneurship from the perspective of enterprise. In 2017, Vipshop launched women entrepreneurship development program “Weiai Workshop” and single mother empowerment program respectively to face the difficulties and challenges faced by women in difficulty during independent entrepreneurship and help the rise of “her power”. 

Yao Yan

Yao Yan, founder of Powder Blue World Women’s Health Management Center, shared her two entrepreneurial stories as a recipient. With the support of entrepreneurship project of The Asia Foundation in April 2017, Yao Yan established her own company, Powder Blue World Women’s Health Management Center, helping women with the opportunity to present themselves through reading clubs and psychological courses.

Guest discussion

In the SHE CAN project jointly initiated by UN Women and SAP, CGPI finds through a survey of more than 300 women entrepreneurs in Guangdong that women have a natural career development ceiling because of social stereotypes of gender. and the biggest challenge for women in workplace is not professional ability but how to balance family and work. According to the survey of questionnaire, 88.33% of the respondents chose family responsibilities as the biggest professional challenge for female senior managers, and the other factors are social stereotypes and lack of platforms & opportunities, accounting for 50% and 41.67% respectively.

According to GEM Global Report, the growth of women’s entrepreneurship enthusiasm is inversely proportional to economic development level, that is, more economically developed countries and regions have lower female entrepreneurship index and participation rate. According to The Global Gender Gap Report 2018, it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap, and 202 years for economic equality between men and women to be achieved around the world.


Should we wait for a century or more till close this pay gap completely?

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: the theme of this year’s “International Women’s Day” was “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, addressing infrastructure, systems and frameworks that have been constructed largely in line with a male-defined culture. We need to find innovative ways of reimagining and rebuilding our world so that it works for everyone.

It is reported that “Philosophy of Philanthropy+” is a derivative product series of a high-end dialogue project Philosophy of Philanthropy Salon jointly developed by CGPI and CPRI. It focuses on the UN’s sustainable development goals, propose for groups, advise for issues, and speak for future, committed to playing the guiding role for the development of philanthropic public opinion in China.


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