Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Neo-Matriarchal Korea?

I see more women in the Korea workplace. They add much and are excellent team members. Much has changed over the past few years. Still, from my perspective this article exaggerates at least with regard to the major business groups the role of women. Since the major Groups are hierarchical with seniority based promotions, it will take more time for women to be in key positions within the major companies.

Korea Times notes
The remnants of patriarchy are fast disappearing as women assume increasingly bigger roles, the phenomenon that some experts dub as the advent of a neo-matriarchal society.

Examples of the strengthening of female power are everywhere including national exams, economic activities and political participation although in some areas males still remain dominant.

Historically, males have ruled in the national exams to become high-ranking officials, diplomats, prosecutors or judges in Korea due in no small part to masculine-oriented Confucianism.

But things have been changing rapidly. Among the three most popular exams, successful female applicants account for about a half of the total in the administrative, diplomatic and law tests.

The female proportion is also rising in conservative financial businesses where there are no female CEOs at major banks, insurance companies, asset management firms, futures companies and government agencies.

"An increasing number of the highly desirable financial jobs such as ones at the Bank of Korea or the Financial Supervisory Service are being taken by females," said an official at the central bank.

"Currently, the gender disparity is severe at senior levels. As a rising number of females fill junior level vacancies, however, the disparity is likely to weaken in the not-so-distant future. In other words, the voices of women will get louder," he said.

The demise of patriarchy is felt not merely in the workplace but also at home where housewives make more and more important decisions, according to a survey by Statistics Korea.

The state-run agency found early last year that 90.4 percent of housewives take charge of most day-to-day decisions.

On topics such as moving house that were conventionally decided by men alone, 85.1 percent of women took part while a mere 14.2 percent of homes were found to stick to the traditional fashion of depending solely on the male.

Robot Business

Businesses are quickly taking note of the paradigm shift from the male-oriented society to the female-centric one.

Korean robot makers said one of the biggest trends was the advent of female opportunities.

"It is obvious that an increasing number of women will partake in economic activities, while they also give birth to a decreasing number of babies," said Choi Seong-gu, an economist at the Hyundai Research Institute, who came up with a roadmap for the robotics industry this month.

"The industry is ready to embrace this change. For example, the necessity of robots will rise due to the low birthrates, particularly in the household chores sector as women will be busy dealing with social activities in years to come," he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment