Shaun Rein

While the number of well-educated, well-positioned Chinese at Western multinationals is growing, many of them decide to leave those Western companies, notes business analyst Shaun Rein in CNBC. The glass ceiling is stopping them from getting the real top-jobs.

Shaun Rein:

Despite what seemed like a dream job, last week Bo told me that he was leaving his company, after three years there. Why would he leave? Was he moving to another multinational firm? May be as a country head?

No, instead Bo had decided to take the position of global head of marketing at a state-owned enterprise. The salary was not the main issue for his wanting to leave. Bo simply felt there was a glass ceiling at his firm for mainlanders that sapped his morale. After all, there were still several foreigners above him in the hierarchy.

When one expatriate left, the firm relocated another to China and he and other mainlanders never moved up the ladder. At the state-owned enterprise, Bo’s job responsibilities would be expansive. He would be running the global marketing arm and would be dealing with the most senior executives.

Bo’s story is one that I have heard more and more among top Chinese talent – they are leaving their secure, comfortable positions at multinational firms to take senior positions with state-owned enterprises.

Many Western companies will lose talent in the coming years. The fight for talent is no longer against other international firms, it has now become a fight against state-owned enterprises as they offer competitive compensation, enormous benefits and, perhaps most importantly, no glass ceilings and a better job profile.

More in CNBC

Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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