Few women execs at Korea banks

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Few women execs at Korea banks

The so-called glass ceiling is showing few cracks in the Korean banking industry, an audit report by lawmaker Min Beong-doo showed on Wednesday.

Analysis of data provided by the Financial Supervisory Service showed that of 11 banks studied, there were only 20 females in 304 executive positions as of the end of June, or 6.6 percent.

There wasn’t a single female executive at Korea Development Bank, Nonghyup or Korea Exchange Bank, which is now part of KEBHana. At Hana Bank, there was one female executive out of 53, and at Shinhan there was one out of 22.

Industrial Bank of Korea had the highest number of female executives, 4 out of 15 positions, or 21 percent.

Looking at overall employees and their genders, women held 43,698 out of 95,836 positions at the eleven banks studied, or 45.6 percent.

But female workers’ salaries were only 63 percent of male workers. The average annual salary for a woman was 61.3 million won ($53,610) compared with the male employees’ 96.5 million won.

At Korea Development Bank, female employees’ average annual salary of 56 million won was almost half or 54 percent of male employees’ 104 million won. At Kookmin Bank, female staffs’ average annual salary of 56 million won was 56 percent of male employees’ 100 million won.

The situation was better at Nonghyup, where female workers’ average salary of 62 million won was 82 percent of male workers’ 76 million won. At Citibank, female workers’ salary, at 75 million won, was 71 percent of males’ 105 million won.

“The glass ceiling is still thick at banks,” said lawmaker Min Byeong-doo in his statement.

“There needs to be something done to improve the welfare of female employees who are apparently getting only half their male peers’ salary.”

“The salary difference is due to a proportionately higher number of female administrative staff, mostly tellers at branches, who tend to be on the lower end of the pay scale,” a Kookmin Bank official said.

“These contract employees had their status changed to permanent positions in 2014, and they will be equal beneficiaries of pay raises in the years to come,” he added.

“On the executive level, we simply do not have female employees in the age group 52 to 55. But we think changes are on the way as there are more female employees, who are highly capable and professional, in the younger age group,” a Korea Development official said.

“Things will probably start to change in six to seven years,” he added.

BY PARK JUNG-YOUN [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]
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