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Only 6.3% of Korea’s board members are women: survey

Women occupied only about 6.3 percent of corporate board positions at South Korea’s 353 largest companies in the first quarter this year, according to a survey released by corporate tracker Leaders’ Index on Sunday.

The survey shows there are still fewer than a thousand women in executive positions, with 914 among a total of 14,418 board members in the latest survey, even though the female proportion was on the rise for three consecutive years.

Samsung Electronics, the nation’s largest company, may have the largest number of female executives, but the figure still stood at only 6.5 percent, barely above the national average, according to its annual sustainability report issued on June 30. In its 2011 report, the tech giant had pledged to raise female board representation to 10 percent by 2021.

Figures at other major companies were even lower.

Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics and Posco Holdings marked 4.0, 3.8 and 2.9 percent, respectively, while at SK Hynix and LG Display, just 2.5 percent of their board members were women.

They lag far behind their global rivals.

Women make up 35.5 percent of the board at Meta, formerly known as Facebook, while Apple and Intel had 23 percent and 20.7 percent representation, respectively. The figure for Taiwan’s TSMC, Samsung’s archrival in the foundry market, was 10 percent.

South Korea ranked last in the Economist’s Glass-Ceiling Index Survey of 29 OECD members in March.

More women are expected to take board positions as the revised Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act is projected to enter into effect next month. The law bans companies with more than 2 trillion won ($1.54 billion) in total assets from having all-male boards.

By Lim Jae-Seong (
Korea Herald daum