SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 9, 2019 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government, December 9, publicly disclosed the wage information of male and female workers who are working at a total of 22 organizations supported or funded by the city government.
This first attempt in Korea follows the city’s pledge to do so to address the unreasonable gender wage gap, which was made on the International Women’s Day, March 8.
The information announced under the title “The Status of Gender Wage Gap at the Seoul Metropolitan Government-funded Organizations” on the city government’s official website includes the gender wage gap by the organization, by position, by occupational category, by the number of years in office and by labor cost category.
The gender wage gap information was derived from the wage information of a total of 22,361 indefinite contract employees and full-time workers who fully worked in 2018 applying with the same criteria as OECD uses (the gender gap in median earnings). The information from the organizations having less than five workers was closed in order to protect personal information.
It is meaningful that the Task Force Team consisting of experts in various private sectors, such as female and labor groups, and companies, led the move, and the labor and management of the organizations made a cooperation with each other. After that, the Gender Wage Gap Improvement Committee reviewed and decided it for the Seoul Metropolitan Government to make a final public announcement.
According to the disclosed information, the gender wage gap ranged from as high as 46.42 percent to as low as –31.57 percent. Among the 22 organizations, 19 ones’ gender wage gaps were lower than 34.6 percent, the gender wage gap for all of Korea (released by the OECD in 2017), while three organizations were higher: the Seoul Institute (46.42 percent), the Seoul Business Agency (37.35 percent), and the Seoul Energy Corporation (40.9 percent).
Since the Seoul Institute and the Seoul Business Agency have converted a large number of non-regular workers, especially low-paying female temporary workers, into regular workers from 2017 to 2018, the gap has widened temporarily. In the case of the Seoul Energy Corporation, the gap has widened because male workers have longer years in office and hold all of the shift jobs.
It is analyzed that most organizations have lower female workers in higher positions, and there is still a strong perception that the architecture, civil engineering, and machinery fields are male-centered jobs, which may be decisive factors to widen the gap.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will take follow-up measures to change the discriminatory baseline itself, given that the practices and perceptions of old days when women’s social position was relatively poor have been structured and accumulated in various ways to make gender wage disparity. Its goal is to increase the employment rate of women; to expand opportunities for women to enter the top ranks; and to create an “equal working environment” where there are no disadvantages, such as the suspension of employment due to paternity leave.
To that end, the “gender equality wage advisory group” consisting of experts, such as certified labor consultants and lawyers, plans to visit each organization and provide consulting in three stages so that each one can establish and implement its own improvement plans.
In addition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to keep disclosing the gender equality wage information, while expanding the target to include non-regular workers at the city-funded organizations and agencies that are commissioned to run by the private sector. It also plans to set up the “Guideline for Practicing the Gender Equality Wage” to attract participation from the private sector and push for enacting ordinances to support companies.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government established the nation’s first “Gender Equality Committee” in 2012 and has been leading the way in establishing a foundation for gender equality labor environment. As a result, the ratio of female high-ranking managers has increased from 19.4 percent in 2014 to 23.1 percent in 2018, and the ratio of women appointed by the committee has also been expanding from 37.3 percent in 2014 to 41.3 percent in 2018. It launched the Gender Advisor in 2017 and the Special Advisor for Gender in 2019.
Besides, to support women’s active economic activities and protect labor rights, the number of the Working Mom Support Center” has been expanded from one in Gwangjin-gu in 2014 to three in Gumcheon-gu and Eunpyeong-gu in 2018, and the number of the Woman Resources Development Center has increased from 25 in 2014 to 30 in 2018. That of public female jobs also increased from 12,316 in 2014 to 14,215 in 2018.