Getting a job is one of the major concerns of university students, making them heavily depend on career fairs and campus recruitment for information and guidance. However, the recent drastic decrease of job briefing sessions at Ewha has brought up complaints from anxious students.
The number of job briefing sessions last March was 21, a sharp decrease compared to that of last year, which had 30. Considering that even the 30 briefing sessions held last year was a decrease compared to its previous year, and that other universities – especially co-ed universities – do not show this phenomenon, such statistics cannot be neglected. Amongst the overall job briefing sessions, the number of medium-sized companies, international companies, and overseas companies did not experience huge decline, but a decrease in the number of conglomerate’s sessions were more than visible. Eight major companies (CJ, Samsung C&T, LG Display, Samsung Electronics DS, SK Telecom, Samsung Bioepis, Lotte, and Hanwha S&C) visited Ewha last March, but only five among the eight (LG Housis, Samsung Electronics LSI, Samsung Securities, Samsung Electronics GTC, and Lotte) came this March. This is exceptionally deleterious considering that working in conglomerate companies was the most preferred type of company for Ewha students according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Ewha Career Development Center (CDC). Based on the same survey, expanding job briefing sessions ranked as the top 5 needs of students. However, with large-scale job fairs canceled from 2015 and overall decrease seen in job briefing sessions, student needs are not adequately met.
Throughout March, when the largest number of companies visit universities, various comments about the lack of job fairs and certain companies excluding Ewha during campus recruitment were seen on university online communities such as Ewhaian and Everytime. In a society where women are actively condemning the unequal gender structure through MeToo movements and more, overall atmosphere of companies not wanting to go through the trouble of trying to employ females adds to students’ worries. With Sookmyung Women’s University’s job briefing sessions also showing a huge drop from 10 to 3 in last and this March, students worry if this is only a common phenomenon amongst women’s universities and the recent decline of job briefing sessions are part of companies’ ‘pence rule.’
“I’ve seen media coverages that companies don’t want to hire females as part of a ‘pence rule’ and that that’s why companies are reluctant to visit woman’s universities like ours” said an Ewha junior studying in the College of Liberal Arts. “This makes me both angry and worried because job briefing sessions are valuable for us as it is an opportunity for us to get information on what our prospective employers require from their applicants. How can companies implicitly exclude women when recruiting people?”