Enabling Korean Women who experienced career interruption to Re-Enter the Job Market in the Social Entreprise Sector


Root Impact


Korea, Republic of

Thematic area

Access to economic resources


2017 - 2020


The context

South Korea has made substantial progress in terms of economic growth, poverty reduction, and  increasing women’s access to education. However major gender inequalities persist. In 2017, South Korea ranked 118 out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index. Women make on average 37% less than men. Only 56.2% of women in Korea are employed and many women (nearly 2.6 million) withdraw from work when they get married and/or have children.


The project

“Impact Career W” is a vocational training program that aims to enable women whose careers have been interrupted due to marriage, childbirth, and other household duties, to access career opportunities in the social entreprise sector. The program will help women increase their self-confidence, define their career goals, strengthen their leadership skills, and maintain jobs in the sector. Additionally, Root Impact will work directly with social enterprises to create more gender-equal workplaces.


The support

Fondation CHANEL is supporting Root Impact to develop a six-month training program specifically targeting Korean mothers, aged 30-50 who interrupted their careers to care for their children. The program will enable 55 women to access career opportunities with social entreprises in South Korea. Additionally, with support from Fondation CHANEL Root Impact will work to raise awareness among employers and policy makers about the issues facing Korean women in the workplace.

The results

  • 55 women who experienced career interruption participate in a vocational training program, set their career objectives, improve their self-confidence and leadership skills, and access career opportunities in the social entreprise sector
  • 20 social enterprises create hiring opportunities for women who have experienced career disruption and develop more gender-equal workplace policies
  • At least one policy report will be published to raise awareness among policy members
  • Creation of an alumni network for the graduates of the program


The partner

Root Impact is a South Korean non-profit organization that aims to support local changemakers or social entrepreneurs that are working to bring about positive changes in the world. The organization is working to build an “Impact Ecosystem”, which includes a co-living house, a co-working space and learning opportunities, in order to help changemakers advance their mission, address social issues, and sustain their business growth.

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