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Ratio of female workers at major South Korean companies rises to 21.6%

Staff writer |
The ratio of female workers in South Korea's 600 largest companies by revenue has been on the rise in recent years, as South Korea is pushing to bring more women into the nation's workforce.

The number of female employees at the 600 firms stood at 235,171 last year, accounting for 21.6 percent of their total workforce. The figures represent a gradual increase from 207,941, or 20.6 percent, in 2011, according to data compiled by the Federation of Korean Industries that speaks for the country's large businesses.

The federation said the 600 largest listed companies were subject to its analysis, though 76 financial and insurance firms were excluded.

By sector, the ratio of female workers is high in wholesale and retail businesses with 57.3 percent. The ratio is the lowest in the construction sector where only 6.6 percent of women work.

By company, Woongjin Thinkbig Co., one of the major publishing firms for mostly students, topped the list with the ratio of female employees standing at 78.7 percent.

South Korea has taken a series of measures such as expanding workplace nurseries to try to bring stay-at-home moms back to work to raise the country's growth potential.

Still, many South Korean women complain that their careers can be put on hold as it is not easy for them to find jobs after spending extended time away from work to raise children.

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