April 21, 2024

Girls like Hwang Ji-sun, 52, discovered it laborious when she initially began engaged on the meeting line at Hyundai 22 years in the past.

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She famous that there weren’t sufficient bogs for girls and that feminine technicians earned lower than their full-time male counterparts as a result of they might solely be employed as contractors from staffing companies fairly than as staff.

In keeping with the Korea Metallic Employees’ Union, Hyundai solely lately employed feminine industrial employees in South Korea straight for the primary time for the reason that firm’s founding in 1967. Six feminine technicians had been employed by the group in July.

The gender pay hole in South Korea, which has the most important wage distinction among the many Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Improvement (OECD) nations, has gained extra consideration because of information of the hirings.

Regardless of having one of the vital developed economies on the earth, analysts declare that ladies nonetheless don’t have entry to the identical prospects as males and are hardly ever represented in government positions or on manufacturing flooring.


After working at a shoe manufacturing facility, Hwang, a mom of two, joined Hyundai in Ulsan, a coastal metropolis, prepared for a brand new starting. Making use of black tape to door frames was the principle duty of her first employment on the automaker.

In distinction to the roughly 2 million Korean gained ($1,500) earned by different full-time staff, who had been all males, Hwang claimed that as a contractor, her remuneration was between 1.4 and 1.5 million Korean gained ($1,000 to $1,100) per 30 days, together with additional time pay.

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Feminine, off its workers illegally, enabling Hwang and different folks to work there full-time.

Nonetheless, it took 5 years for Hwang to truly obtain the promotion because of protracted talks between administration and the unions.

She now claims that full-time feminine staff obtain the identical pay as full-time male staff. There are further restrooms and even female-only showers at her facility. Moreover, extra ladies have joined, making up about 90 of the three,600 employees at her manufacturing facility.


Researchers declare that regardless of slight enhancements, gender-based exclusion and low pay stay pervasive points in South Korea. In keeping with OECD information, ladies within the nation are usually paid a 3rd lower than males, in comparison with a 17% gender pay hole in america.

In keeping with consultants on the Peterson Institute for Worldwide Economics (PIIE), the tendency persists “regardless of an above-average stage of feminine tertiary training” in South Korea.

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Requests For Modification

Activists declare that companies’ lack of transparency over how they deal with ladies is a part of the problem.

Unions declare that whereas personal sector staff will not be obligated by legislation to publish particular gender ratio information, public entities are.

A number of employee and activist teams urged companies to be extra open about their hiring practices at a information convention in March.

In keeping with Hwang, much more work must be completed to change attitudes in the direction of ladies in fields the place males predominate, particularly in a culturally conservative society like South Korea.