Xi’an, 11 May 2018
For immediate release
Top British and Chinese companies come together to sign up in support of gender equality at the Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress campaign launch
On 11 May 2018, the UK Government’s Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress campaign was launched
nationwide in China. Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress, led by the UK Government in China in
partnership with China’s Mulan Club and the British Chamber of Commerce in China, aims to
inspire practical action on furthering gender equality in the workplace.
Inspired by the recent reports of gender biased practices from every corner of the world, Pledge
for Progress invites businesses to publically pledge to foster gender equal practices within their
own organisations and encourage others to do the same. At the launch event, representatives
from four leading businesses, including Ctrip, TOREAD, Deloitte and Lloyd’s China made the first
ever pledges in support of the campaign.
It has been acknowledged globally that gender disparity still prevails in the business world.
49.6% of the world’s population is female, but in 2017, they fill only 22% of senior managerial
roles. But many studies show that gender equality brings real benefits to business in terms of
faster growth and greater diversity, ultimately with economic gains for all. The first Pledges at
the event tackled these issues head on covering a wide range of issues, including ensuring equal
pay for equal work between women and men; increasing investment in leadership training
programmes for female employees; and bringing more companies on board to Pledge for
Pledge for Progress was launched at one of the biggest trade and investment events of the year
in China, The 3rd Silk Road International Trade and Investment Expo held this year in Xi’an, where
the UK is a country of honour. The event brought together women and men from both UK and
Chinese businesses to discuss practical solutions to how to ensure gender equality within an
The event was hosted by the UK’s Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Rona
Fairhead and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to China, Dame Barbara Woodward. The launch of
Pledge for Progress follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK’s
Government Equalities Office and the All China Women’s Federation in December 2017 to
increase collaboration and exchange between the UK and China on the topic of gender equality.
Ambassador Woodward said at the event: “I am pleased to be launching our new initiative: “Be
Yourself: Pledge for Progress”, bringing together British and Chinese business representatives in
China to pledge their support to undertake practical and effective women’s empowerment
initiatives in their organisations. We want to create a platform for all enterprises in China to
share best practice and positively influence working practices. ”
President of China Entrepreneur Magazine, Board Chair of Mulan Club, Ms. HE Zhenhong said:
“We want to change the perception of Be Yourself from individual battle to a group of people
gathering together and going towards a bright future and therefore giving rise to a social
transform. Mulan Club will secure at least 50 Chinese companies to join the Pledge for Progress
initiative. Mulan Club will use the power of business to promote women’s development and
empowerment, to help more women to be themselves.”
Additional launch events for the Be Yourself: Pledge for Progress campaign will be held in cities
across China from May 2018 onwards. For more information on the campaign follow the hashtag
#妳的未来不是梦# on Weibo.
For further information contact:
– Beijing: Megan Copeland/Campaigns Manager, at the British Embassy in Beijing on 010
5192 4245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
1. The Be Yourself campaign was launched in 2016 to raise awareness of the benefits of
gender equality to society and the economy. This year, the UK government is working to
promote gender equality across the business world through the Be Yourself: Pledge for
2. Notices of events will be published on Sina Weibo @英国驻华使馆
Mulan Club was founded in China by the China Entrepreneur Magazine in 2009. Mulan Club is a
platform of innovation and information sharing for female business leaders. The aim of the club
is to promote women in and into senior leadership positions and raise awareness of the benefits
of women in leadership. Over the course of 10 years, Mulan Club has developed four key
programmes: The Club, Global Mulan Forum, Mulan Influence and Mulan Review. It has become
China’s largest aggregated platform for entrepreneurial women. Mulan Club members have
repeatedly been named in top lists, such as Asia‘s 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen by Forbes,
The 25 Most Influential Women in Business by Fortune, and the World’s Most Influential
Women by Financial Times.
British Chamber of Commerce in China
The British Chamber of Commerce in China, in partnership with the China Britain Business
Council, is a membership organisation for British business focused on boosting UK-China trade
and investment. The British Chamber operates as an independent, not-for-profit organisation
with a strong and diverse membership. With over two decades’ worth of business experience in
China, the Chamber provides intelligence, advice, and networking opportunities for our
members, helping their business grow in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.