Differential Spaces in Korean Places? Feminist Geography and Female Managers in South Korea

Douglas R. Gress, Jeeyon Paek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Is there evidence of new, differential space challenging entrenched, status quo abstract space at firms in South Korea? Based on quantitative analyses of responses from 360 survey participants, this study deploys a feminist geographical perspective to examine the careers of female managers in South Korea. Results include extensive descriptive statistics of waged and non-waged work environments, motivations for work and career breaks, income expenditures, and gender-based impacts on opportunities, networks and promotions in the workplace. An overall discriminatory atmosphere leads to decreased equality in opportunities to participate in training and business trips, which in turn leads to fewer promotions for female managers. Likewise, female managers in positions specifically designated for females receive fewer promotions. Korean firms have a stronger preference for sending men on business trips and more overall discriminatory atmospheres than foreign firms, while informal networks figure more predominantly into hiring and promotion at Korean firms. Finally, regression results indicate that both country of origin and organizational discriminatory atmosphere, despite concrete departmental and organizational policies geared toward the reduction of gender discrimination, negatively impact the percentage of female managers at firms in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-186
Number of pages22
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Career motivation
  • Feminist geography
  • Gender
  • Labour networks
  • Organizational culture
  • South Korea


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