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Employees in Japan and South Korea with a proven fluency in English earn more than twice as much as the national average in each country.
In fact, the importance of English proficiency in both markets means bilingual employees in their 20s earn 1.5 times the national average; those in their 30s earn 1.7 times and staff over 40 can earn more than double the average wage.
This is according to a study by recruitment firm, en world, titled the “Impact of English Proficiency on Salary in Japan and South Korea” which canvassed more than 4,000 employees in regular, contracted and temporary jobs.
The report also found salaries of English-proficient women were significantly higher than national averages in both countries, despite gender-based discrepancies still existing in Japan and South Korea.
“The research reported on here can be said to symbolise a future of globalisation and full utilisation of women’s abilities,” said Craig Saphin, president of the en world group and of en world Japan.
“Given the reported urgent decline in the Japanese labour force resulting from a diminishing birthrate and population aging, making the best possible use of the female labour force is indispensable in promoting corporate globalisation and ensuring employee diversity.”
Simon Kim, president of en world Korea, added South Korea’s first ever female president could have possibly impacted the expectations, and thus salary levels, of women in the country.
“In the years to come, more women are expected to play leading administrative and managerial roles in Korean society,” he said. “Furthermore, today, organisational diversity is an indispensable element in promoting global corporate growth.”