Wouldn’t it be great if you had female leaders in China that are not only strong leaders but also look attractive and know how to work with tea and flowers because these things make them more charming? Or does that sound slightly odd? This is exactly what’s been happening with 21 female city mayors from all over China who have just graduated from a 13-week training course in Shanghai that focused both on their leadership abilities as well as their skills with tea ceremonies, flower arranging and makeup.
According to today’s front page of the Shenyang Evening News from Liaoning province, on 9 December the female branch of the China City Mayors Association (中国市长协会女市长分会) held a graduation ceremony at Jiaotong University in Shanghai with 21 female city mayors and deputy mayors in attendance. The 21 women were graduating from a special course of 13 weeks at the University that focused on improving their governing skills and leadership capacities as well as certain special “external services”.
Hence not only were the female mayors taught how to interact with the media, we are told, they were also given a range of other lectures of which some are mentioned: “Tea ceremonies”, “Flower arranging”, “Makeup”, and “Creating a graceful appearance as a female mayor”. The organizer of the lectures was of the opinion that tea ceremonies, flower arranging and makeup are all things that contribute to the “charm of female leaders”.
The vice president of the female branch of the China City Mayors Association put it as follows:
Female mayors are leaders, yet more than that, they are women. Among male higher authorities and all the lower ranking males, it is very important for these women to display their female influence. Yet in this process, for these women to integrate well while also maintaining a safe working distance is a real art.
One of the lecturers apparently focused their instruction on how to overcome “Men’s eight main perceptions for being unwilling to follow female leaders”, which included perceptions of women as too emotional, too sensitive and too selfish. After this course, now that women are purportedly better aware of these things they can work to overcome them by displaying their inner advantage and winning the trust of their subordinates.
The person responsible for the lectures has no doubt about the importance of teaching the female mayors how to arrange flowers, do better makeup and undertake tea ceremonies:
On any level, these “external services” are no less important than their normal work.
So women are moving up in China, kind of?
Links and sources
Shenyang Evening News (沈阳晚报): 21位女市长上研究班学习咋化妆