The Korea Herald

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Reality check: How diverse is Korea really? Women in business (5)

Women in Korea are 18 percent less likely to be employed than men, and earn 31 percent less

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Feb. 1, 2024 - 09:09

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Less than 60 percent of Korean women aged 15-64 work, some 18 percent less than their male counterparts. This, according to the OECD, is the seventh-largest gender disparity in labor force participation among its member nations.

Female workers in Korea earned 31.1 percent less than their male counterparts on average as of last year.

This gender pay gap is the highest in the club of 38 mostly developed countries and is about 20 percentage points higher than the OECD average of 12 percent.

Turning to the corporate world, data shows there were 439 female executives among the top 100 largest firms in South Korea, constituting approximately 6 percent of the total number of executive positions. Remarkably, Samsung Electronics emerged as the company with the highest number of female executives, boasting 72 women in executive roles.

Is South Korea really becoming more diverse? The Korea Herald offers a reality check by examining data on representation in the fields of politics, business and society according to gender, age, ability, sexual identity and nationality. A complete version of this series was printed in the Jan. 2 edition of The Korea Herald. – Ed.