Data from the Executive Yuan’s Gender Equality Committee yesterday highlighted improvements in gender equality in the nation.
Of the batch of legislators elected in January, 47 of 113, or 41.59 percent, are women, the committee said.
Data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union showed that Taiwan has the highest proportion of female legislators of any parliament in Asia, and the 16th-highest worldwide, it said.
The number of women in decisionmaking roles in government, schools and private companies has also steadily increased in the past few years, with women accounting for nearly 43 percent of such roles overall, the committee said.
The gender wage gap has narrowed as well: Over the past decade, the average hourly wage gap fell from 17.9 percent in 2009 to 14.2 percent last year, the committee’s data showed.
Separately yesterday, a survey released by the Chinese Institute of Engineers showed that only 13 percent of the nation’s engineers are women and most of them believe they have to work harder to receive the same recognition or promotions as their male counterparts.
The survey on the relationship between career development and gender differences in engineering, the first of its kind in Taiwan, was conducted among engineers at 39 enterprises, seven government agencies, and eight research and development companies that together employ 130,000 people.
A total of 1,307 valid samples were collected, including 531 from female respondents.
Women make up 15 percent of engineers in the civil engineering sector, 29 percent in architecture and urban planning, 8 percent in electrical and electronic engineering, 18 percent in information and communications technology and 17 percent in chemical engineering materials, the survey showed.
Forty-four percent of engineers in biomedical engineering are female, while women account for 17 percent of engineers in environmental engineering/green energy and 3 percent in mechanical engineering, it showed.
Across all sectors, women make up 13 percent of engineers, the survey found.
The institute, which is 109 years old, selected its first female director in 2012 and last year established a female engineers’ committee to bring more women into the engineering and science and technology sectors, institute president Liao Ching-jong (廖慶榮) said.
There is still a large gap between the number of female engineering graduates and those working in the field, Liao said.
More than 60 percent of male and female engineers saw no difference between male and female supervisors, but said that it is more difficult for women to find a job and be promoted in the field, said Hsueh Wen-jean (薛文珍), head of the institute’s female engineers’ committee, citing the survey.
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