The Korea Times
More female civil servants boost equality
An increase in the number of female civil servants has been noticeable in recent years.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family collected female representation data for 2017 from each government branch.
The data will be used to back the ministry’s “2018-2022 Female Representation Improvement Plan,” which aims to increase the number of female government workers each year. Compared to 2012 data, female representation in government jobs has soared, recording an all time high.
Public officials are ranked from levels nine to one, with one being the highest, and necessary for an ambassador posting.There has been a drastic increase of women in level four positions, which could open opportunities for them to advance to higher government positions.
In 2012, 9.3 percent of level four public officials were women; by 2017 it reached 14.7 percent.
A drastic increase was also seen in government overseen posts where female participation rose from 25.7 percent to 40.2 percent.
Even in the police force and military, female representation has slowly risen each year.
Female military officers rose from 5.8 percent to 7.4 percent, while the percentage of policewomen jumped from 7.5 percent to 10.9 percent in the same period.
The largest margin was with school principal and vice principal positions over the last half a decade.
In 2012, only 24.6 percent were female, but that number shot up to 40.6 percent, surpassing the 40 percent mark for the first time.
Experts say it’s a matter of time before the number of female principals exceeds that of their male counterparts.
For over a decade the number of male teachers has gradually dropped each year.
Female teachers marked 63.5 percent nationwide in 2007, but that number jumped to 69.2 percent in 2017, according to the Ministry of Education.
Out of 360 people that passed the teacher recruitment exam for Seoul public elementary schools, 320 (88.8 percent) were female, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.
The government plans to set a goal for each government agency to increase female representation in the workforce by 2022 and plans to focus on legal reforms and aid to reach that goal.
It plans to level the playing field for all sexes in the public workforce and make it mandatory to appoint at least one female executive at a public institution by 2019.
More female workforce
“The #MeToo movement sweeping the country is due to sexual discrimination within the societal structure. To reduce this, more women have to advance to higher ranking positions for balance in the gender perspective and this should influence each decision making process,” said Jung Hyun-baek, the minister of gender equality and family.
“The government has vowed to achieve gender equality, and needs to work towards the OECD level of female representation in the workforce.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Korea to expand its female workforce to help boost innovation in the labor market.
This is because Korea’s productivity is expected to fall further due to its rapidly aging population.
The IMF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have constantly called on Asia’s fourth largest economy to reduce inequality.
They highlighted Korea has the most discriminative workplace in the OECD not only against females but also irregular workers both in gender and income.