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Women take up 23% of jobs at top firms: study

Women took up 22.6 percent of the entire workforce in South Korea‘s top 600 firms last year, data by the Korea Economic Research Institute showed Sunday.

Among the 531 firms, those that were available for study out of the 600 non finance companies, a total of 254,452 employees were women, an increase of 27,424 from 2012.

The proportion of women has gradually increased, rising by 0.1 percent from 2015, and by 1.3 percent since 2012.

By company, IT service provider Hyosung ITX had the highest ratio of women at 82.4 percent, followed by education company Woongjin Thinkbig at 78.9 percent and outfit retailer Shinsegae International at 72.5 percent.

By industry, retailers hired a total of 577 women per 1,000 employees in 2016, the highest, marking a 6.1 percent rise over the past five years. Business support service providers, including facility maintenance firms had the second-highest ratio of female employees at 49.1 percent.

The nation’s largest retailer E-mart almost doubled its number of female employees to 18,265 in 2016 from 2012.

The construction industry had the lowest proportion of women at 7.2 percent.

Kospi-listed outfit maker Shinwon saw the sharpest rise in female proportion of employees, by 32.3 percentage points in four years to 44 percent, followed by GS Retail, whose proportion rose by 31.7 percentage points.

South Korea’s female labor force participation rate came to some 50 percent as of 2016, while the ratio of female to male participation rate reached 70 percent, both below the average of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations, of 51 percent and 75 percent respectively, according to data by the International Labor Organization.

President Moon Jae-in has vowed to revise the Special Act on the Promotion of Youth Employment to boost female participation in the workplace, as well as offer benefits to firms with high female employment rate, during his election campaign in February, three months before he took office.

By Son Ji-hyoung (
catch table
Korea Herald daum