Big Businesses Still Employ Few Women

  • By Chae Sung-jin

    May 28, 2019 11:21

    Only about a quarter of employees in Korea's top 600 businesses were women last year.

    The Korea Economic Research Institute said Monday that women accounted for just 23.8 percent of 1.19 million workers at the top 600 listed non-financial companies last year, meaning their proportion has inched up by a mere 0.8 percentage points since 2014.

    Hyosung ITX, which is involved in call center management and IT solution businesses, had the highest proportion of female staff at 82.9 percent. Next came Lotte Shopping, which employs 17,101 female workers who account for 68.2 percent of staff.

    Supermarket chain E-Mart also employs more than 16,000 female workers who make up 63.8 percent of its workforce. Samsung Electronics employs the largest number of women of any company with 27,263, but they account for only 26.5 percent of staff.

    Women make up the biggest proportion of staff in the low-paid service (70.6 percent), wholesale and retail (55.4 percent) and facilities management and rentals (47.5 percent) sectors. The construction industry has the lowest proportion of female workers at a mere nine percent.

    But the institute said there were some improvements as women made up 45 percent of new hires over the last four years.

    Korea's average female employment rate stood at 56.9 percent as of 2017, below the OECD average of 63.7 percent and in 27th place out of 33 member nations.

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