The Status of Women Leaders in South Korea: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Yanghee Kim
  • Yonjoo Cho
Part of the Current Perspectives on Asian Women in Leadership book series (CPAWL)


The development and utilization of women in South Korea has been limited. Women’s participation in the labor market is low, and their leadership roles in both public and private sectors are limited. Due to the country’s paternalistic culture and gender divide, a glass ceiling prevails in every corner of society. As organizations in Korea are male-dominated in ways that encourage men’s leadership and work styles, women leaders in the workplace are pressured to act like their male counterparts. In this uniquely Korean context, we review the literature on women in leadership, discuss the status of women leaders in diverse sectors, examine challenges women leaders face in the gendered workplace, and introduce the government’s women-friendly policies and programs that will bring about more opportunities for women leaders.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanghee Kim
    • 1
  • Yonjoo Cho
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Gender and LeadershipSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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