Government’s glass ceiling is intact

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Government’s glass ceiling is intact

Despite government efforts to promote gender equality in executive positions in public institutions and help women civil servants crack the glass ceiling, the ratio of female executives at state-run institutions is less than 10 percent, data showed yesterday.

According to the data provided yesterday by a public information site, Alio (, a mere 9.1 percent, or 272 executives out of 2,993 at 288 state-run institutions, are women.

Only 16 of 288 public institutions had female chief executive officers. And 149 had no female executives at all, the data showed.

In the case of 32 institutions under the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, only 6 out of 326 executives are female, 1.8 percent. In the case of 10 public institutions under the Financial Services Commission, only 1 out of 109 executives are female, less than 1 percent.

At three public institutions operated under the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, no woman has an executive position at this time.

Doing a lot better than those ministries are the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Ministry of Employment and Labor. Women executives at those ministries range from 13.1 percent of the total to 18.4 percent.

At the Korea Childcare Promotion Institute under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 66.7 percent of the executives are women. That’s the highest for any public institution.

To help talented women to ascend to executive positions, both opposition and ruling party lawmakers have jointly proposed a bill that aims to raise the ratio of female executives to 15 percent in public institutions in three years and to 30 percent in five years.

“Norway has a law requiring 40 percent of all company board members be women,” said Kim Young-ok, a senior researcher at the Korea Women’s Development Institute. “And [setting] a 30 percent quota for women executives in Korea isn’t excessive.”

By Kim Mi-ju []
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