The Korea Herald


Ratio of women execs at major firms more than doubles over 5 years

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 19, 2023 - 09:58

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The share of female executives at South Korea's major firms has more than doubled over the past five years on positive factors, including last year's implementation of a related law, a corporate tracker said Tuesday.

A total of 265 firms belonging to the country's top 30 business groups had a combined 726 women executives as of end-March, accounting for 6.9 percent of their total 10,561 C-suite positions, according to the Leaders Index.

The proportion was up 3.7 percentage points from five years earlier, with the number rising by 455.

The companies cover the conglomerates' subsidiaries that are required to publish quarterly business reports.

Of the total, only one group, shipping giant HMM, had no female executives as of the end of March, with the comparable figure coming to eight in 2018.

Eighty-six companies had no women executives, taking up 32.4 percent of the total. The ratio was 70.9 percent five years earlier, or 188 corporations.

In particular, the leading business groups had a combined 155 outside directors as of end-March, or 18.1 percent of their total outside directors. Five years ago, the ratio was a mere 2.3 percent.

A revised capital market law came into effect in August last year, putting restrictions on male-dominated boards of firms with assets of 2 trillion won ($1.51 billion) or more.

Kakao Group, the operator of the popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, had the highest proportion of female executives with 19 percent, with them occupying 16 out of 84 C-suite seats.

Samsung Group, South Korea's top family-controlled conglomerate, had the largest number of female executives, with its 22 subsidiaries offering 157 C-suite positions to women, or 7.5 percent of the total 2,097 executives. (Yonhap)