Helping married women find jobs
According to the National Statistical Office’s report in November 2014, 3.89 million married women are unemployed, and half of them, about 1.99 million, or 21 percent of all married women, are struggling because of the gaps in their career. It takes 6.7 years on average for a woman with gaps in her career to find another job, and the longer she is unemployed, the harder it is to get back into the work force.
How can these women successfully resume their careers? For working mothers, a flexible working environment to maintain child care and their career is necessary. But what’s needed first is to prepare them to return to work. Vocational training to improve professional skills in order to resume a career discontinued due to childbirth and child care will prepare mothers to find new jobs.
Lately, the government and companies are providing various vocational and career programs to help women with a discontinuous career get back into the job market. Since 2011, the Jongno Women Resources Development Center and L’Oreal Korea have been promoting “Working Moms: the Beautiful Second Choices,” a project helping the reemployment process of women. It enhances career specialties and employment competitiveness for the women who have left their careers for some time. In fact, 77 percent of the women who participated in this program in the past four years successfully returned to work. Along with the education program, it offers consultation, vocational training, employment consulting and after care services, significantly helping women who are willing to resume their discontinuous careers.
The employment rate of Korean women by age is an M-shaped graph: high in the 20s, declining in the 30s as a result of marriage and childcare and going up in the 40s again. However, the jobs after the career gap are often irregular positions. Married women looking to find reemployment need information about the jobs that can best utilize their discontinued career and appropriate job training in order to minimize the time for job searching and to find quality employment.
by Kim Young-nam, Director of the Jongno Women Resources Development Center