for males and females in rhotacization (85%,83%), lenition (63%, 57%), interdental (ts) (39%, 0%) and realization of neutral tone as full tone (0%, 1%). The state professionals use these local Beijing features frequently except full tone variant while Waiqi professionals use non-local variants and a foreign language like English and German.
Sharp gender differentiation for Waiqi professionals is due to value of language in producing cosmopolitan professional identity, company image projection and decline of state feminism due to new market economy (Zhang, 405). Use of linguistic features shows this difference for males and females: rhotacization (64%, 235), lenition (47%, 27%), interdental (ts) (15%, 0%) and full tone (10%, 31%). Language and gender related characteristics are resources or symbolic capital for Waiqi as they are used to project company image. Having foreign language skills is crucial for Waiqi as means for interpretation and communication with Chinese businesspersons but women are more constrained to use it than men do due to work requirements.
Language and gender have great impact on professional access to opportunities and career trajectories. Unlike state enterprises where there are no front desks or need to present company face, Waiqis value company image in the competitive market hence employ women to represent the face of the company. These women must have foreign language skills and be presentable and firm employs them as receptionists and secretaries. Regardless of their area of expertise, they begin as secretaries, move up the ladder, and sometimes continue performing administrative duties whilst men begin with doing real business such as marketing (Zhang, 411). According to Zhang, “this has to do with gendered practice in parent corporations” and political and economic circumstances (413).
The Chinese language is not “gender language” like European or other languages in order to avoid sexism. It therefore has no grammatical