Monday, March 06, 2006

Have you experienced discrimination based on your gender while looking for a job?

Korean online job search firm Saramin asked this question...Have you experienced discrimination based on your gender while looking for a job?

The majority of female workers in Korea think that sexual discrimination is prevalent in both the job search and in the workplace, according to a survey by the online job-search site Saramin ( Some 57.5 percent of 573 female workers surveyed answered affirmatively to the question, "Have you experienced discrimination based on your gender while looking for a job?"

Among the types of discrimination women experienced while seeking employment, “age cap” topped the list at 35.6 percent, followed “interview question discrepancy” (i.e. being asked whether they would be willing to run errands, make copies, or fetch coffee etc. for their colleagues or bosses) with 24.3 percent, “marriage status” with 20.1 percent, “appearance” with 11.2 percent, and “height and weight restrictions” with 8.8 percent.

When asked if they had experienced discrimination in the workplace, a whopping 79.9 percent of the respondents said that they had, 46.3 percent of whom cited being “disproportionately assigned miscellaneous tasks” as the most common form of discrimination.

In addition, as many as 80.6 percent of female workers said that they were discriminated against when it came time for a promotion, as 46.4 percent of them said women's promotion beyond a certain point is virtually impossible and 39.5 percent said that it takes a longer period of time for women to get promoted -- reflecting that sexual discrimination may even be more tangible in the workplace than during the job search. When asked if their companies provide systems for women (menstrual leave and maternity leave etc.), only 17.3 percent said “yes,” and 34.3 percent of those said they use such programs “sometimes” while 20.2 percent said they “rarely” use them and 10.1 percent said that they “never” use such systems, which shows that even when they exist, such mechanisms are not utilized properly.

Kim Hong-shik, the business division chief with Saramin, said, "Sexual discrimination against women in the workplace is growing even more prevalent as women's social participation becomes more active thanks to the expansion of educational opportunities for women," stressing that there should be an effort to discard double standards against female workers and the current practices in recruitment at the business and government levels.

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