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Glass ceiling harder to break at state-run firms

State-run organizations had more female employees than at private firms, but the female representation in managerial positions was higher at private firms, the government’s inspection result showed Thursday. 


At state-run agencies, 16.5 percent of the managerial posts were occupied by women last year, compared to 21.2 percent at private firms, according to the report released by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

The female employment rate at state-led organizations and private firms was similar at 38.27 percent and 37.71 percent, respectively.

By sector, the health and social welfare industry saw the highest percentage of the female employees (71.2 percent) and their representation at high-ranking posts (52.2 percent). In the heavy industry, only 5.8 percent of all workers were women and 1.5 percent of the posts in management were taken by women.

Of all workers in the country, 37.8 percent of them were women last year, up 7.3 percent from 2005. Of the managerial posts at the surveyed workplaces, 20.4 percent of them were filled by women, a 10.2 percent rise from 2005.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor released the result of its inspection on 329 state-run agencies and 1,676 private firms last year, as part of its “Affirmative Action” to increase female representation at workplaces.

Out of 2,005 companies, the proportion of women was below 70 percent in 993 firms.

The government ordered the companies in question to draw measures to root out any discriminatory hiring practices and improve a work-family balance at their workplace. It plans to release the names of the firms failing to abide by the order for more than three years and disadvantage them in bidding for state-run projects.

By Ock Hyun-ju (