Women are key to Alibaba's success: Jack Ma

By He Wei in Hangzhou | | Updated: 2017-07-10 20:08


Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma said on Monday that women are the 'secret sauce' behind the company 's success, and warned men of losing jobs to women and artificial intelligence in 30 to 50 years.

Addressing 2017 Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship in Hangzhou, Ma said women's perseverance and attention to details will outperform men in the age of robotics and machine learning.

"It is women who encouraged me to undergo the tough times in the past 18 years since the founding of Alibaba,” he said.

"I hope to be a woman in my next life, have two children and run two businesses - not one big business (like now)," he said.

Alibaba used the event to promote female entrepreneurship and showcase its own gender diversity.

Ma said more than one-third of its founders were women, with a similar percentage taking senior management roles. Women are well-represented within Alibaba, with the ratio of female employees once nearing 50 percent, and is only slightly watered down after a wave of mergers and acquisitions of overseas assets.

Also, half of the sellers on its gigantic Tmall and Taobao marketplaces are women, and a greater proportion of storefronts with higher positive user ratings have female owners.

These are clear manifestations that the internet has helped equalize the playing field and enabled women to create and pursue opportunities to flourish in their own right, he said.

The star-studded meeting featured talks by prominent female figures, from bridal wear designer Vera Wang to Chinese film star Sun Li, and is aimed at seeking ways to encourage women to pursue their professional and personal ambitions.


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