March 13, 2003 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Breaks New Ground in Treatment of Women Workers

Seoul, Korea - March 13th 2003 - Samsung Electronics officially opened the 148.5㎡ Women’s Dream Plaza, a facility that goes far beyond a simple counseling center for women, at its production complex in Suwon, Korea on March 12. The move is testimony to the company’s leadership in providing women workers with the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

The dedication ceremony was attended by Samsung Executive Vice President Lee Sang-bae, Suwon Mayor Kim Yong-suh, Ministry of Labor Suwon Bureau Chief Im In-ju, and Kim Ae-ryoung, who is in charge of government policy development and assessment at the Ministry of Gender Equality.

Women’s Dream Plaza features many firsts for the Korean business community. The facility has a breastfeeding room for working mothers with infants. A lounge has been provided for employees suffering menstrual discomfort or fatigue during pregnancy. A learning resources library provides texts on feminine issues, childcare, business administration and foreign languages.

Samsung has organized the Women’s HRD Team, staffed by specialists in women’s psychology, to provide women workers counseling on personal issues as well as career development. Training is also provided on leadership and work-related skills.

The Women’s HRD Team monitors the company’s adherence to Korean laws related to preventing gender discrimination in the workplace and supporting working mothers. The Team will also research and develop policies for promoting equal employment opportunities and the overall empowerment of women workers.

At the ceremony, Samsung Electronics Executive Vice President Lee said, “Top-tier companies must be those that take the lead in bringing about change and work the hardest to develop the potential of their women employees and strive to nurture their professional capabilities. I expect (Women’s Dream Plaza) will have a positive impact on breaking down old ways of thinking and creating a new corporate culture and work environment.”

Women’s HRD Team Manager Oh Yun-kyoung adds, “The Women’s Dream Plaza inside the Suwon Complex is very significant, as all infrastructure for ensuring women workers’ rights and comfort are located in a single facility. It reflects the company’s determination to recognize the importance of women workers and utilize them to the full.”

In conjunction with the dedication ceremony, Samsung Electronics invited Chung Baek-hyun from Korea Women’s Associations United to speak on the newly-elected Korean administration’s policy regarding women’s issues.

Samsung Electronics announced its “open personnel policy” in 1995, removing any reference to “gender” on employment application forms as well as eliminating differences in compensation and promotion between the sexes. Samsung was designated “Outstanding Company in Gender Equality” by the Ministry of Labor last year.

Samsung Electronics. which already operates on-site daycare centers at the Suwon and Gumi complexes, will open similar facilities in Seoul and Giheung in March. Women’s counseling centers are also in place at company facilities in six locations: Seoul, Suwon, Gumi, Giheung, Onyang and Cheonan.

Samsung Electronics employed 14,802 women, or 30% of the total workforce, as of the end of 2002.


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