Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Woman's Role in Korean Workplace Grows

"White Collar" women in the Korean workplace continues to increase. My work with Korean firms confirms this even in companies where women once only served as admin assiatants.

A Korea Times article notes,

Korean women are increasingly playing a significant role in the corporate world as more companies hire women amid rising female participation in economic activities.

According to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Tuesday, the number of female workers employed by 69 listed firms affiliated with the country’s 10 largest business groups totaled 80,129 as of the end of last year, up 47.6 percent from 54,274 four years ago. In comparison, the number of male employees increased 18.2 percent to 344,746 over the same period.

Female workers accounted for 18.8 percent of the total 425,863 employees last year, up from 15.7 percent from 2002.

An increasing number of women choose work over marriage and also a large number of married women continue to work even after having a family. Many female workers excel at what they do and an increasing number of women are getting jobs with bigger paychecks in the corporate sector, an FSS official said.

He said the number will continue to rise in the future amid the rising education level of women and the changing social perception about working women.

Among conglomerates, Samsung Group was most active in hiring female workers as the country’s largest business group increased the number of its female force by some 100 percent to 43,300 from 21,544 during the four year period. The figure accounts for 30.6 percent of its total workforce, up from 24.1 percent.

LG Group and SK group also expanded their female workers by 64.2 percent and 19.9 percent, respectively. But GS Group and Hanwha Group reduced the number of women in their workforce by 69.3 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively.

Over the past few years, women have outpaced men in the tight job market, particularly in the public sector, as more women are getting a higher education and participating in economic activities.
According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), seven out of every 10 newly created so-called decent jobs, those in various professional, technical and public administration, went to women last year.

Of the newly created 222,000 jobs that usually command higher salaries and social status, women took 154,000, or 69.4 percent.

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