Rich women hold top jobs but the picture is different lower down the social ladder.
Workplace discrimination against Chinese women is still rife, in spite of a slew of positive women-in-work news stories published in the country's tightly controlled official media for International Women's Day, experts said on Friday.
"Discrimination against women in China is extremely common," said Li Qiang, who heads the U.S.-based rights group China Labor Watch. "There is a lack of law enforcement measures taken to protect equality in women's employment."
He said that while Chinese women enjoy labor law protection on paper, such rules are frequently flouted by companies seeking to minimize the cost of maternity leave and other family-linked benefits.
Mao Zedong's phrase, "Women hold up half the sky" made its obligatory appearance in at least two stories from Xinhua news agency, the official news outlet of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, on Friday.
The China News Service website reported on initiatives by a number of Chinese cities to redress workplace discrimination by holding women-only recruitment fairs, while a number of state-run papers gave top billing to a survey showing that the proportion of women in senior management posts in China rose to 51 percent from 25 percent in 2012.