Women managers in Hong Kong: Personal and political agendas

Catherine Wah-hung Ng, Ann Sofie Chakrabarty

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The proportion of women managers in Hong Kong has been steadily increasing in recent years. Hong Kong's 'can-do' spirit, education system and laws against sex discrimination probably have contributed to the increase. However, roles in the private (home) and public (work) spheres remain highly gendered. This has led to intense work-family stress for women managers, some of whom also face sex discrimination at work, such as negative attitudes toward women, the old-boy network and sexual harassment. However the overall level of awareness of sex roles and sex discrimination among women managers is low. Furthermore, women managers tend not to court open and direct confrontation. Instead, they tend to pursue individualistic personal coping strategies. Women managers rely on support from their extended family and hire domestic help to cope with work-family stress. Women managers also work hard to prepare themselves for a job move when they perceive or encounter sex discrimination. They tend not to make demands of their husbands, the workplace, or the government due to concepts about the private and public divide and about gender roles in these two spheres. We argue that political agendas which push for more flexible gender roles, state childcare and women- and family-friendly organizational policies are needed to bring more women into management at a faster pace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Business Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Career
  • Chinese culture
  • Family
  • Hong Kong
  • Personal and political agenda
  • Women managers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management


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