Female managers still under-represented in South Korea

Women formed only 20.9% of managers in 2,486 organisations in the country, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labour.
By: | December 8, 2020

Although this percentage has risen from about 10% in 2006 after a government policy was introduced to increase the proportion of female managers in both public organisations and private businesses, it still ranks near the bottom of those of OECD countries. 

The findings were made based on data from all state-run agencies and companies, as well as big businesses with more than 500 staff. 

The 2006 government policy includes public naming and shaming of organisations and companies if they fail to hire more women or maintain a low proportion of female managers. 

However, it seems that the policy has not been particularly effective since it was introduced 15 years ago. Public organisations’ percentage of female staff at all levels is 41.7%, while that of big businesses is 37.5%. Yet, the percentage of women in managerial positions stands at only 20.7% and 21.9%, respectively. 

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Outside Seoul, the percentages are even lower: women make up 31% of all staff and formed only 8.5% of managers, reported Chosunilbo. 

“The quota was applied just last year at public organisations outside Seoul, so the proportion of female managers is still low,” a ministry official said.