Janet Yellen, the Secretary of the United States Treasury, recently spoke to a group of female business owners in Seoul and told them that increasing the number of women who work and providing them with more opportunities for leadership would increase the economic potential of both South Korea and the United States.
In remarks that were prepared to be delivered during lunch at a vegan restaurant in Seoul, Yellen, the first woman to head the United States Treasury, told the women that women represented a “huge untapped resource” both for United States and South Korea. Yellen is also the first woman to head the United States Treasury.
The comments come at a time when the administration of President Joe Biden is working hard to save key components of its domestic agenda. These components include an increase in funding for child care and universal preschool, both of which are designed to encourage more women to participate in the workforce.
Biden had hoped to pass major legislation that would have included such funding along with projects to combat climate change and raise taxes on large corporations, but the work has been stymied by opposition of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, whose vote is critical in the evenly split Senate. Biden had hoped to pass major legislation that would have included such funding along with projects to combat climate change and raise taxes on large corporations.
She made the observation that South Korean women, while having among the highest levels of education in the nations that were members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, occupied just 20 percent of managerial positions in South Korea. According to statistics compiled by the OECD, women have a higher propensity to engage in irregular employment and earn an average of 31 percent less than males, the largest wage disparity recorded by the OECD.
According to projections made by the International Monetary Fund, South Korea’s real gross domestic product might see an increase of more than 7 percent if the gender participation gap in the workforce were to be closed by the year 2035.
Yellen stated that “women should be given the ability to stay in the workforce,” adding that women still faced challenges in rising to the top, both in public service and in the private sector, even in advanced economies such as the United States.
According to a statement made by a Treasury official, the ladies discussed the unique difficulties of advancing one’s career in the technology industry while simultaneously juggling the responsibilities of raising a family.
According to the source, Yellen discussed her own experiences rising through the ranks of the still mostly male field of economics. Later on in the day, she is scheduled to meet with female economists from South Korea. “We cannot leave the wonderful skill and education of our young women on the table,” she said, adding that engaging more women in the workforce may help solve the labour supply constraints that were pushing up costs. “We cannot leave the table,” she added.