By Yi Whan-woo
Dominance by older men characterizes the committees run by the nation's 16 conglomerates, whose task ironically is to adopt a new, innovative management styles based on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles, a report showed Friday.
The report, released by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), shows that 87 percent of Korea's corporate ESG committee members are men, and more than half of them are in their 60.
Of the 207 total committee members, 181 of them are male and 26 are female. In particular, none of the committees are chaired by women.
By age, those in their 60s account for 50.2 percent of the committee members and those in their 50s account for another 38.2 percent.
The youngest member is Park Sae-rom, a 31-year-old Sungshin Women's University professor hired by IT giant Kakao as an outside director.
By profession, 40.1 percent of the 207 are professors, 33.3 percent are entrepreneurs, and 11.6 percent are high-level bureaucrats, lawyers or other legal professionals.
The committees are mainly tasked with setting up business strategies and protecting shareholders' rights.
"ESG," referring to a set of management principles and criteria, has recently become a buzzword for the Korean business community, as it encourages efforts toward sustainability and the joint prosperity of businesses and society.