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Labor Ministry Appoints Its First Female Team Manager

Posted September. 09, 2005 07:43,   


The Ministry of Labor has conducted a major restructuring, changing its setup into a team-based one and promoting women employees to positions of responsibility. Also, it became the first central government agency to appoint a female official as a team manager.

The ministry announced on September 8 that it realigned its organization from two offices, 30 divisions and one team into 2 headquarters, 35 teams, one group and one division to enhance accountability and performance among employees.

The ministry also granted some 80 percent of decision-making powers, which was formerly concentrated among office and bureau chiefs, to team heads and members. The decision approval process was simplified from three-steps to two for speedier decision-making.

Notably, the ministry appointed Kim Hyo-sun (45) as a team manager for the newly established Public Labor Relations team.

Kim drew public attention in 1995 when she, a housewife with a son, passed the state-administered exam to become a high-ranking public official. A week before the exam results were announced, she started working as business counselor in the Labor Office of Iksan city as a contract worker. Determined to enter the Ministry of Labor, she kept working there for six months after passing the exam.

Based on her work experience, she took full charge of the work of the legislation of the public officials union law that passed the National Assembly at the end of last year, proving herself to her superiors. She unraveled the complex public union relations with a woman`s delicacy, while taking resolute steps when necessary, her colleagues said.

The ministry also appointed Park Seong-hee and Lee Deok-hee, both fourth grade officials and both women, as heads of the Employment Policy Team and the Retirement Annuity team, respectively.

As the chief of Industrial Accident Review Committee Jeong Hyun-ok (deputy senior official level) is set to become the first woman Public Relations Office chief, the power of women in the ministry will become even stronger.

"The team managers were publicly selected from all fifth or higher grade officials," the Minister of Labor Kim Dae-hwan said. "They are chosen because of their capability and better performance record, not because of their gender," he added.

Keuk-In Bae bae2150@donga.com