Chinese Taipei

Introduction

Chinese Taipei has long supported women’s economic empowerment and the integration of gender awareness into the workforce and public policymaking. More...

Chinese Taipei has long supported women’s economic empowerment and the integration of gender awareness into the workforce and public policymaking. From the 1960s to 1980s, Chinese Taipei’s labor-intensive, export-led economic policy relied greatly on the enhanced participation of women in the workforce. In a span of 15 years, women’s participation in the manufacturing sector rose from 20 to 40 percent. Since 2009, women in Chinese Taipei have been entitled to six months of paid maternity leave at 60 percent of their salary, on top of eight weeks of full pay. The economy’s 2011 Gender Equality in Employment Act further underscores the government’s deep commitment to strengthening the position of women in the economy, including through the establishment of committees on gender equality in government, prohibitions against sexual harassment, and benefits that significantly extend to men the same opportunities for parental leave that women receive.

The overall environment for doing business in Chinese Taipei is strong. In 2014, the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report ranked the economy 19 out of 189 economies surveyed. Today, as Chinese Taipei’s business sector becomes more innovative and knowledge-oriented, the economy is committed to getting both men and women online and engaged in technology entrepreneurship. According to a 2013 report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), Chinese Taipei leads APEC in the percentage of individuals intending to start a business within the next three years.

Still, the labor market participation rate of women in Chinese Taipei–50.5 percent in 2014–remains considerably less than the APEC average of 60.9 percent. For every 11 adult male “early-stage entrepreneurs,” only around five females are similarly engaged. In 2003, 394,245 woman-owned enterprises represented 33.9 percent of total businesses and generated 13.1 percent of total business revenue. By 2010, those figures had increased just slightly to 35.8 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively.

Despite its gender gap in entrepreneurship, Chinese Taipei is home to numerous policy fora and national associations that advocate for women’s rights and gender mainstreaming in policy and business circles. Recognizing the shortage of skilled, employable labor in many highly productive, innovative industries, the public sector has undertaken research and design of policies that help women find employment. Although women’s pay across the workforce is 16.1 percent less than their male counterparts’, the wage gap in Chinese Taipei compares favorably to economies like Japan (33.9 percent) or the United States (17.9 percent).

The gender breakdown at various points along a typical professional career path reveals important turning points for women in business. Conditions are generally favorable for women who attend university, where they make up 49 percent of graduates, and in entry-level positions, where they account for 44 percent of professionals. However, participation drops steeply after women get married. Women hold just 18 percent of mid-level to senior management positions in Chinese Taipei, and only 9 percent of executive committee member positions. As in most economies, a strong contributing factor is the double burden of motherhood and a full-time career on working women.

In 2014, Chinese Taipei hosted the 62nd Congress of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs (FCEM World Congress), welcoming representatives from at least 28 economies to strategize together and develop business opportunities. Continued attention to pro-women policies further down the enterprise pipeline, especially at senior management levels and on company boards, along with a wider offering of loan opportunities and corporate training schemes targeted to women entrepreneurs, would go a long way in helping women in Chinese Taipei reach their potential. 

Women business owners in Chinese Taipei can expand their networks by joining formal business and trade associations that are open to all enterprises. Also, a wide variety of networks specifically for women are funded or organized through private, public, or nongovernmental means. Many networks have an international focus, aiming to expand access to markets across borders and to raise the voice of Chinese Taipei’s entrepreneurs on the global stage.

The public sector in Chinese Taipei plays a central role in the formation and coordination of most of the networks profiled in this section. For example, the Women Entrepreneurs Association was established as an alumni group for participants of a government-sponsored entrepreneurship support program. The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) under the Bureau of Foreign Trade funds and implements a number of online and offline networks, with a focus on foreign markets and investors.

Networks that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.

Networks that support women’s access to markets: 

A social media-based community, CAREhER helps professional women advance in their careers by making connections, finding mentors, and benefiting from the site’s marketing and custom-content services. There is a Facebook group...more

This network assists and advises all Chinese Taipei’s companies regarding expansion to Europe, with a major focus on the Netherlands. Established in the 1990s, TGN provides access to broad networks to facilitate the cooperation of European companies with technology...more

This network is a subsidiary of Chinese Taipei’s main trade promotion platform, TaiwanTrade, established in 2002. Membership is free and the network helps entrepreneurs expand their companies internationally by assisting with marketing of creative products and serving as...more

Established in 1980, the association consists of more than 1,500 elite businesswomen from industrial and commercial circles. TWEA provides information services to members and funds women’s groups and welfare organizations, including by organizing charity events in...more

Established in 2011, this is the first women-oriented website in Asia to serve as a platform for women to share ideas and advice regarding their lives, careers, creative aspirations, and gender issues. The site offers exclusive articles, training in entrepreneurship and...more

Networks that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

Established in 2006, this network connects women who are or who have participated in the government’s “Flying Goose Program” to encourage cooperation in different industries and to provide supplementary services and consultation. The association assists with the planning...more

Networks that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

Started in 2008, BPW Taiwan is part of the long-established BPW International. Its mission is to promote gender equality, serve as a platform for exchange and cooperation, enhance women’s professional capabilities and...more

NATWA is an umbrella group of 67 organizations promoting women’s interests in Chinese Taipei. The goals of this nonprofit NGO are to raise awareness of women’s rights, publicize the content of UN treaties that address women’s issues, decrease disparities between rural...more

Started in 2004 and financed through membership fees and donations, NCW promotes international involvement, civilian diplomacy, and women’s leadership. In addition to 90 individual members, its 10-group members include the Chinese Women Business Association (CWBA),...more

TWIOD’s WOB initiative was started in May 2013 to promote gender diversity in upper management, put more women on boards of directors, help women get training and education to become leaders, and create opportunities for women to join international organizations....more

Networks that support women and innovation and technology: 

Established in 2011, the main objectives of this nonprofit group are to encourage and motivate women to participate in STEM fields, promote their professional status in STEM fields, and strengthen their connection to other professional women through in-economy networking...more

In Chinese Taipei, a few large, multinational companies are engaged in women’s economic empowerment. Of note are Microsoft and ASUS, two technology providers that target the gender and urban-rural divide in ICT usage. Additionally, a number of commercial banks have signed on to provide loans to women entrepreneurs through the government’s micro-business loan program (the credit is guaranteed by a government agency).

There is also a strong civil society sector at the national level advocating for policy change in favor of women’s rights, and raising awareness of women’s issues through various channels. Finding up-to-date information on these initiatives is difficult as many of the websites are not regularly updated, or only accessible in Mandarin Chinese.

Initiatives that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

This joint initiative of the United Way of Taiwan and 104 Corporation aims to set up a crowdfunding website for marginalized people and improve their access to capital. According to an APEC-funded report on ICT initiatives, 15 participants with various minority...more

Spearheaded by the Taiwan Globalization Network and funded by the Taiwan Business Alliance Foundation, this initiative provides SMEs with global connections and multifunctional tools to locate internationalization support packages, service providers, investment agencies...more

Started by a group of small businesses in December 2013, Verymulan is a young organization seeking to empower women entrepreneurs by providing them with resources, leadership training, and funding for their business proposals. Verymulan has a budget of 100 million NTD (...more

Initiatives that support women’s access to markets: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.

Initiatives that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.

Initiatives that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

For over two decades, the Awakening Foundation has been recognized for promoting policy and institutional reform. The foundation promotes and supports legislation on women’s rights and gender equality, as well as broadened participation of women in public affairs. In...more

Initiatives that support women and innovation and technology: 

Community Cultural Assets is a flagship project of the Chunghwa Telecom Foundation. It works to close the digital divide among communities, assist traditional cultural assets, and cultivate community life. The initiative seeks to build a community asset platform for...more

Girls Power Up is an internship program launched in September 2012 by Microsoft Taiwan for female college students at the Taipei Chengshih University of Science and Technology, the National Chung Hsing University, and WuFeng University. It provides aspiring female...more

Funded by Microsoft Taiwan and the government’s Council for Economic Planning and Development, Women UP 2.0 targets the gender divide in ICT usage by building the capacity of women and improving their computer literacy and use of ICT. Services include training volunteers...more

The Chinese Taipei government supports a range of services aimed at female entrepreneurs while striving to measure the impact of these services on women’s business gains. The focus appears to be primarily on support to startup micro-businesses and on encouraging the use of ICT and technology entrepreneurship.

Although many services work generally to help women access startup funding, just one program is dedicated to this: the Micro-Business Startup Loan program, which provides small loans to micro-business entrepreneurs. Other services are compartmentalized into corresponding government agencies. For example, training is provided through the Workforce Development Agency. The Women Entrepreneurship “Flying Goose” program was started in 2013 and shows particular promise in providing an integrated basket of resources and support services to women entrepreneurs.

Services that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

This program provides low-interest loans up to 1.04 million NTD (approximately US$33,300), conditional on completion of entrepreneurship training. The loans are provided by domestic banks as part of their CSR initiatives, and credit is guaranteed by the SME Credit...more

Services that support women’s access to markets: 

This industry-leading business-to-business (B2B) website, sponsored by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, helps Chinese Taipei-based enterprises connect to other businesses all over the world. Launched in October 2012, the website features an array of...more

Though not geared specifically to women, TAITRA assists domestic businesses and manufacturers in reinforcing international competitiveness and coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets. Since 1970, it has helped companies compete in overseas markets and...more

Services that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

An 876 million NTD (approximately US$28 million) initiative under the Ministry of Labor’s Workforce Development Agency, the Business Startup Consulting Service Project provides startup courses, consulting services, site visits and business observations to aspiring female...more

A joint training initiative of TAITRA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the International Trade Institute provides two-year intensive courses to prepare college graduates and young professionals—men and women—for careers in international business. It also conducts...more

This program, started in 2013 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Chinese Taipei, assists women in developing startups through entrepreneurship incubation courses (live and online), mentorship, integrated counseling...more

This program, offered by the SME Association in partnership with the Sun Yat Sen Management Education Foundation, seeks to encourage and inspire female Taiwanese entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses. It offers entrepreneurship courses, information and resources,...more

Services that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

FWRPD was established by the Commission on Women’s Rights Promotion and the Ministry of Interior with a 1 billion NTD (US$31.8 million) fund. It aims to be a bridge for constructive dialogue between the government and private sector, and a center of resources and...more

Services that support women and innovation and technology: 

This program aims to provide women in nonurban areas with basic computer skills to create diverse social and economic opportunities. The program is for women over 35 years old living in nonurban areas, as well as underprivileged women or new-resident women coming from...more

DOCs help to close the digital divide by increasing computer skills in participants, encouraging community bonding, and promoting local business through ICTs, particularly in rural areas. E-commerce and online marketing courses are offered to residents living in remote...more

Established in 2011, this program provides online marketing courses, marketing outlet assistance, training, and intensive courses in management to help women develop their technological skills for startups and attain high-level management positions in new enterprises....more

Launched in October 2009, She Economic is a collaborative effort of APEC, the Kaohsiung City Government, and the Bureau of Social Affairs to help unemployed or disadvantaged women increase their ICT abilities. The program aims to reduce the gender digital divide, raise...more

While affordable broadband internet access has become available in most rural areas, micro businesses—which comprise 75% of the nearly 1 million business entities in Chinese Taipei—continue to lag behind larger companies in technology use and sophistication. In response...more