Feb. 18 (UPI) -- South Korea's minister of gender equality and family said the country's workplace culture needs to change for women to be on more equal footing with men.
Jin Sun-mee told gathered executives on Monday progress needs to be made, despite concerns from South Korean men "in their 20s" who are concerned about the competition, Yonhap reported.
"If companies improve their workplace culture to be more equal, on a fundamental level, disputes focused on gender, and incidents that have sparked the #MeToo movement could be resolved," she said.
The South Korean official added 20-something men are "concerned" about "excessive regulations," but the reality is different and South Korean women face disadvantages.
The businesses executives debated the gender quota system adopted in 2000.
Jung Yu-jin, a female executive at Samsung Electronics, suggested the quota system gives people the impression men are "negatively affected" by the quota system that advantages women, even though at senior levels of the company the number of male executives is greater.
Baek Seung-hun, an executive with Lotte Hotels, said "diversity" is key to corporate culture and is not a buzzword that exclusively applies to gender equality.
Lee Mi-hyang, a female executive with Korea Telecom, said the quota is "necessary" for the time being, until better policies address the need for child care and other incentives that will allow women to increase their participation in the labor market.
In 2018, The Economist ranked South Korea as the worst country to be a working woman among the developed nations of the OECD. The country ranked 29 out of 29 countries, behind Japan and Turkey.