Heather Fong was named the first woman to lead the San Francisco Police Department in the city’s history this week. Fong, 47, has been the acting chief since January and has worked for the police department for 26 years.
The San Francisco native’s ability to speak fluent Cantonese–one of the most common Chinese dialects–made her indispensable early in her career, working as a liaison to the city’s large Chinese community.
Fong is the fourth woman to be appointed to a major post by Mayor Gavin Newsom since his inauguration less than six months ago. Newsom is best known for sparking the gay marriage furor. The other three are his replacement on the Board of Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and top adviser Louise Renne.
The People’s Daily Online, a Beijing newspaper, reports that many female college and graduate school students, facing institutional discrimination in their job hunts, have begun to send, along with their resumes, pictures of themselves in school uniforms, bikinis or miniskirts to catch the eye of prospective employers.
Phrases such as “jobs only for male students” or “male student preferred” often appear on job application notices. Sending in revealing photographs is apparently seen by women as a way to boost the chances of landing a job.
“Some female graduates also highlight their dancing and singing skills and boast they are heavy drinkers so as to prove themselves qualified for public relations posts,” the paper reports.
Xiao Xu, a female undergraduate at Beijing Normal University, told the paper that she spent six months conducting an unsuccessful job hunt. Each time her application was rejected, prospective employers cited gender as the reason she did not get the job.
“If you were only a boy!” she says interviewers told her.
— Shaya Mohajer.