Park Geun Hye is South Korea’s first female president and she is naturally promoting the need for more female managers in public service and calling for the corporate world to follow suit.
Now, Choi Myoung Wha, who leads Hyundai’s strategic marketing group, says women are more often freshly hired out of college by South Korea’s family-controlled conglomerates and their situation continues to improve rapidly. “It’s definitely a great era for working women,” said Choi. “Society is biased in women’s favor because there hadn’t been a balance until recently.” She was the first female vice president at Hyundai when she joined the automaker back in 2012. Kim Yongah, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. in Seoul, says that for South Korea, faced with a rapidly aging population, tapping the women resources pool is crucial to ensure the businesses have the best available executives. “While many more women are entering the job force, retention remains to be a huge challenge,” adds Kim
According to a McKinsey research from 2011, which was based on the latest available data, just 2% of executive committees were made up of women that year in South Korea – below the 8% average reported in 10 Asian countries and the 10% or 14% figures accounted in Europe and the US, respectively.