I’m so excited to be in Busan for the 2nd annual Global Women Leaders Forum, gathering nearly 300 female (and male) leaders tomorrow! Following the OECD report on gender equality, and a bottom-rank among the OECD countries, South Korea launched a task force program to bridge the gender gap. With a government acknowledging the huge potentials of economical growth represented by working women, this will be exciting to follow in the years to come. Lots of hard work has to be done before the ambitious goals are reached, yet we can already see a positive increase on several areas already, according to Hee-Jung Kim, the South Korean Minister & Co-Chair of the WEF-initiated Korea Gender Parity Taskforce.
The Global Women Leaders Forum was launched last year to support this strategy, aiming to create an arena to consolidate senior female leaders from ASEAN* countries, to bring women leaders together in the present and future generation to create a powerful global network and draw up innovative and concrete action to encourage women’s contribution through sharing their experiences. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the driving force behind this forum is a former shipping woman – the previous Director of Busan Port. Shipping women drive changes! She has also initiated WISTA South Korea, and I hope my industry colleagues who employs or are connected to female shipping leaders in Korea will help spreading the word.
Present last year were Secretary of the Women’s Ministries, female leaders from politics, business and culture within Korea, China & Japan, and female CEOs from performing countries.
(*Association of South East Asian countries = similar to EU and African Union)
Facts from South Korea;
- Female senior position promotion rate is only 0.002%, it is only 2 per 100,000 (CEO Score, June 2014)
- Korean women’s promotion rate to senior position is lowest among OECD countries (Statistics Korea 2013)
- While the women’s role and importance increase, the lack of organizational culture concept and environmental difficulty managing both work and family lower the competitiveness of women
Global focus Leadership & values Working mom Busan Career women Gender Parity Taskforce Global Women Leaders Hee-Jung Kim OECD South Korea WISTA