First Female Deputy Governor Named at South Korea Central Bank

The Bank of Korea promoted Suh Young Kyung to become the first female deputy governor in the central bank’s 63-year history as Governor Kim Choong Soo pushes diversity in a male-dominated institution.

Suh, 50, currently director for financial markets, will be responsible for research and economic statistics, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement in Seoul today.

Park Geun Hye’s rise to become South Korea’s first female president in February underscored the potential for more women to take key policy-making roles in the nation. While Suh becomes one of five deputy governors, she won’t be a member of the committee which sets interest rates.

When Suh joined the central bank in 1988, officials told her to wear a schoolgirl-style outfit, Suh said in an interview this year, adding that she refused.

“They tried to force me to wear the same uniform as high-school graduates while giving money to my male colleagues to buy a suit every season,” Suh said. “The BOK was entirely dominated by men when I started.”

In March of this year, the central bank had only three women among about 230 high-level positions. Governor Kim has said that he wants to promote diversity. One female has served on the monetary policy board, Lee Sung Nam, who was a member from 2004 to 2008 after being appointed from outside the institution.

Separately, Hur Jae Sung, head of the Bank of Korea Academy, was appointed today as a deputy governor in charge of communication and personnel training.

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