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Age restriction for female secretary

Posted July. 08, 2017 07:11,   

Updated July. 08, 2017 07:25


Someone posted on Facebook in 2015 that Google was developing a personal assistant app called "Moneypenny." The news made headlines as the app, voice recognition software similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, was expected to have a feature that people talk along with the AI.

If you are familiar with the name Moneypenny, you would probably watch James Bond 007 Series. Moneypenny was the name of female secretary that James Bond always met when he visited the office of his boss M. Several actresses took a role of Bond girl but the character of Moneypenny was played by just one person, Lois Maxwell. She first appeared in the first James Bond movie when she was 35 and took the role for 14 Bond movies until she retired at the age of 58. She had met three James Bond actors including Sean Connery and Roger Moore for over 20 years and her role had changed from a young female secretary to an influential helper.

Some female assistants left their names in history. Traudl Junge wrote a memoir for her experience of working as the last private secretary to Hitler from 1942 to 1945. Brunhilde Pomsel, who died in January, told her story of working as a personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels, former German minister of public enlightenment and propaganda, in a documentary called "A German Life." In America, an ordinary secretary became a CEO of global company. She is former HP CEO Carly Fiorina who also ran for the Republican Party presidential candidate. Here in Korea, public controversy has risen over a minister-nominee who described the requirement for his assistant as a female at the age of 24 to 28 in the past. People argue that it is discriminatory.

Bareun Party lawmaker Jung Un-cheon said that Trade, Industry and Energy minister-nominee Baek Un-gyu exceptionally applied age restriction requirement to hire an administrative officer and assistant of the Industry-University Cooperation Foundation when he was a professor at Hanyang University in 2007. Rep. Jung argued that such requirement obviously reflected the nominee’s biased view on women. The Moon administration announced its plan to hire employees without prejudice by deleting the photo, native place and others in application forms. If the nominee becomes the minister, he should take this as a lesson learned and make efforts to select competent people for the ministry and relevant public companies regardless of age and gender.