Women’s ventures fuel Korea’s futureFuturists say that “women” is one of the keywords for the new future of the mankind. With the ability to read, communicate and empathize with others, women are considered valuable assets to respond to the machine civilization with artificial intelligence.
In 1986, the Wall Street Journal first used the term “glass ceiling” to describe the invisible social barrier that keeps women from reaching the executive level. 30 years have passed, and Korea got 25 out of 100 points in this year’s OECD study on glass ceilings, ranked at the 29th place among 29 countries. Furthermore, Korea was ranked at the bottom for four consecutive years. Korea has a long way to go to improve women’s participation in the society.
But lately, new changes have started. Young and capable women are starting up new businesses instead of trying to break the solid glass ceiling in existing organizations.
Ten years ago, in 2007, there were only 501 venture companies founded by women, 3.5 percent of total ventures. As of end of 2015, a significant growth has been made to 8.2 percent, or 2,566 companies.
Top talents increasingly choose to set up their own businesses. 28.5 percent of the female applicants to the Small and Medium Business Administration’s leading venture industry startup support program are masters and Ph.D. holders, and every year, more people with advanced degrees are participating.
Now, the existing growth model of catching up with the developed world has reached the limit. Korea’s future can be found from the ventures. Also, the age of sensitivity is approaching as the only power to control machine civilization. In the transition, talented women with outstanding emotional, communication and empathy skills should be encouraged to challenge new businesses, and their efforts should be supported systematically. In the fourth industrial revolution, businesswomen’s entrepreneurship and challenges will be a driving force for Korea’s future.