Leading the University's China Centre
Named one of Shanghai’s most outstanding women in 2019, Sherry Fu established The University of Manchester China Centre in 2008 – the first dedicated executive centre of a UK business school in Shanghai. It is now one of the University’s largest overseas hubs.
I would encourage women who want to get into leadership roles to empower themselves by always learning, always keeping your mind and knowledge in pace with social and economic development, as the world is changing so quickly.Sherry Fu / Centre Director, China Centre
I was privileged to be offered an opportunity to establish the then Alliance Manchester Business School’s China venture from scratch in 2008. I encountered lots of challenges at the initial stage. Being the only person in a tiny office, how to win trust from Chinese partners and prospective students, and how to enhance confidence about China Centre’s future was not easy.
Women’s resilience to stress and their persistence to face uncertainty and challenges helped me move forward under pressure. I believe it is the most positive capacity of women to thrive despite adversity.
The changing perception of women in China
I have witnessed the rise of women’s social status in China. There are lots of positive changes taking place in China in respect of women’s status.
I see more and more female leaders, school heads and entrepreneurs in China – even in some male-dominated sectors such as construction and manufacturers, women are playing leading roles.
The general attitude toward the talent of women is also changing. Traditionally, Chinese men had valued the perception that ‘innocence is the virtue for women’.
Better opportunities to achieve gender equality
In my opinion, there is less gender inequality in Chinese modern society although in some rural areas, parents traditionally favour boys over girls and so do the country's potential employers.
After 40 years of reform and opening up, Chinese women have more opportunities than ever to get a good education, at home and abroad, and take part in all walks of life.
In return, gradually, Chinese women’s achievements and contributions to society have helped women gain higher social status. Nowadays, according to statistics, Chinese women account for 45% of total employment in China. With the increase in women’s social status, gender equality and diversity in the workplace is in the foreseeable future.
I am also delighted to say, we have the highest female intake ratio in the past few years for MBA studies in Asia, which is around 50%. Since the founding of the University’s China Centre in 2008, I'm pleased to witness more and more female working professionals investing in themselves through the University’s world-leading education.
They’ve achieved great success in their career development with the study experience at the University. I am proud to be a recognised educator in the belief that knowledge changes destiny and brings differences.
I would encourage women who want to get into leadership roles to empower themselves by always learning, always keeping your mind and knowledge in pace with social and economic development, as the world is changing so quickly.
For female professionals, it is very important that you love your job and enjoy the fulfilment that work brings to you and the challenges that drive you to grow. Be enthusiastic, positive and optimistic in the workplace, share your initiatives creatively and proactively to win more opportunities and always advocate a gender-equal world. Last, but not least, keep fit and be strong!
Centre Director, Sherry Fu, leads the China Centre’s operations, business development, alumni relations and strategic partnerships and is breaking down gender barriers in China.