Data explains why women quit jobs

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Data explains why women quit jobs

Despite the commonly held notion in Korea that most women leave their jobs once they marry or have children, a recent survey by the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family says otherwise.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Tuesday released an online poll by the foundation conducted from July 31 to Aug. 20, which questioned 1,000 unemployed women between the ages of 20 and 65.

According to the survey, the most common reason women cited for leaving their jobs was a poor working environment (23.6 percent), followed by family or personal issues (19.8 percent) and termination of their contracts (19.6 percent).

Only 13.7 percent said they followed company custom that encourages quitting once they married, became pregnant or were about to give birth, while 12.3 percent answered that they left to focus on child care or their children’s education, or to care for sick relatives.

Of the respondents, 59.3 percent answered that they would be willing to find a new job within a year - that had mainly to do with financial reasons (44.7 percent), followed by 26.8 percent who desired self-improvement or a social experience through a job.

Those most willing to find employment within a year, the poll said, were women who have spent less than two years unemployed (65.8 percent), those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (63.6 percent), those in their 20s (79.5 percent) and those with work experience (62.3 percent).

When it came to working hours, 44.7 percent who wanted to land a job within a year said they preferred full-time positions, while 36.8 percent checked part-time jobs and 18.5 percent had no preference.

The poll said 40.8 percent of unemployed women who wanted full-time jobs mostly chose 1.5 to 2 million won ($1,350 to $1,800) as their minimum monthly wage, while 23 percent chose 2 to 2.5 million won.

Meanwhile, those who wanted part-time jobs mostly chose 500,000 won to 1 million won (50.5 percent) or 1 to 1.5 million won (39.9 percent).

Job security topped priorities for unemployed women at 70.7 percent, which means not having to fear losing their position, the poll said.

An adequate working wage (68.9 percent) was next, followed by fair working conditions without discrimination (66.4 percent).

“It’s common for women to quit their jobs due to marriage, pregnancy or childbirth, but this survey showed that working conditions and contract termination actually had a larger influence,” said Lee Suk-jin, the foundation’s president.

“It is also notable that women are asking for solutions for the job crunch, discrimination issues and a better working environment.”

The city government and the foundation are currently studying plans to prevent women from leaving their jobs by improving working conditions.

BY KIM BONG-MOON [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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