Thu, Jan 16, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Magazine ranks female executives

TOP BUSINESSWOMEN Leading female corporate leaders say putting work first at the expense of a personal life has helped them advance their careers

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Commonwealth magazine (天下雜誌), in this month's issue, named Taiwan's 20 most influential female executives, whose achievements, pundits say, are landing them in more high-ranking management positions.

"High EQ, innate sensitivity and a customer-oriented mind-set are the keys to their success," said Theresa Huang (黃慧珠), a senior consultant at Manpower Services (Taiwan) Co Ltd.

According to the magazine, the top three influential businesswomen are Nita Ing (殷琪), 49, chairwoman of the Taiwan High-Speed Railway Corp (台灣高鐵); Cher Wang (王雪紅), 44, chairwoman of Via Technologies (威盛電子); and Wang Hsiao-lan (王效蘭), 62, publisher of both the United Daily News (聯合報) and the Min Sheng Daily (民生報).

Fourteen of the 20 executives work in the service sector while the remainder work in the manufacturing and financial sectors, the magazine said. The rank was based on annual business revenues, profitability, assets and personal socio-economic influence.

In an interview with the magazine, Ing said that her success came from putting business first and her personal life aside while climbing the corporate ladder.

She said that she welcomes challenges and enjoys taking risks.

In the male-dominated high-tech industry, Via's Wang, daughter of Formosa Group chairman Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), has excelled because of her sense of optimism and the ability to guide the management team rather than dominate it, her employees say.

"With a clear mind, she allows professionals to take charge and make decisions in the company," one of Wang's top officers told the magazine.

In a knowledge-based economy, the fact that brains are more important than brawn is a major motivation for women to take up important jobs, the magazine said, citing pundits.

"Once women break past the limits put on their gender, they will be able to demonstrate their career ambitions and work as multi-skilled chiefs," said Chen Kuo-tzu (陳國慈), former senior vice president of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (台積電).

Manpower's Huang said, "More and more male employees have to admit that their female bosses deserve recognition in the workplace."

But society's stereotyping of women as incapable of running a business still hinders some female executives' chances, said Paul Hsu (許士軍), chairman of the Chinese Management Association.

Hsu said that society generally believes that women lack the entrepreneurial skills of leadership, strength of character and ambition, which narrows their chances of career advancement.

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