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30 out of 74 major financial companies lack female board member

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By Lee Yeon-woo

Thirty out of 74 major financial firms in Korea, each with assets exceeding 2 trillion won ($1.4 billion), do not have a single female member on their board, data showed Tuesday.

According to Rep. Yoon Young-deok from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea, out of the 461 board members from these 74 firms, only 52 were female.

He compiled and analyzed the data, sourced from the Financial Supervisory Service, the Korea Federation of Banks, the Korea Life Insurance Association and the General Insurance Association of Korea.

In the non-life insurance sector, six out of 37 individuals from six companies were female, accounting for 16 percent. In the life insurance field, 20 companies had 17 female board members out of 124, which equals 14 percent. Among the 19 banks, 14 out of 132 individuals were female, representing 11 percent. And in the securities sector, 15 out of 168 individuals from 29 firms were female, making up 9 percent.

Moreover, the data revealed that 30 of the firms did not have a single female board member.

This list comprises eight banks: Woori Bank, DGB Daegu Bank, Busan Bank, Kwangju Bank, Jeonbuk Bank, Kyongnam Bank, Korea Development Bank and K bank. Additionally, six life insurance firms ― ABL, DB, DGB, Heungkuk, KDB and Hana Life ― are included. KB Insurance was the sole company without female representation in the non-life insurance sector.

In the realm of securities firms, 15 companies ― Yuanta, Kyobo, Shinyoung, Eugene, Nomura, IBK, Bookook, BNK, Hanyang, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Hi Investment & Securities, eBest Investment & Securities, Cape Investment & Securities and DB Financial Investment ― were identified.

These figures lag significantly behind those of major economies. The proportion of female board members reaches 43 percent in France and Norway, 34.3 percent in the U.K. and 28.2 percent in the U.S.

While the revised capital act stipulates against board member domination by a specific gender, the regulation is limited to stock-listed corporations, excluding their subsidiaries.

Lee Yeon-woo


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