If you’re a woman in her 30 or up applying for a job in Korea, I discovered you’ll be facing a bit of discrimination.
One of the candidates for my job at the school is a woman in her early 40s. I interviewed her and she seems energetic, mature, sharp and friendly. An ideal candidate. My school called her school to check up on her as a teacher, and they learned that she recently got married. I am fairly doubtful of this as she said she had no plan of going back to her native country at the end of the contract, something a married couple I assume would likely do. She also made no mention about a large apartment for two. Koreans are notorious for their rumors. I heard that some teacher at the school think I’m going to teach university in September. In reality, I want to take Korean classes offered at a University after work.
So, my school is a bit apprehensive to hire this new teacher because they fear she’ll be getting pregnant soon, thus enabling her to go on maternity leave and generally screwing them over. This candidate is actually perfect for this job (in my opinion), but they’re a bit hesitant because of this speculation.
Despite this discrimination, women are in higher demand as teacher than men (based on what I’ve seen) because they’re not as intimidating as men. So, while you’ll be secretly scrutinized for any “baby bumps” by your coworker, many school will try to get you to work there (after some deliberations).
So if you’re a woman in that age range and you want to come teach English in Korea, be prepared to face, or at least run the risk, of this happening to you.
UPDATE: In a funny twist of fate, the women in question, the one I recommended, isn’t coming to our school. It seems she’s going back to her hometown. My school, along with another one, lost their potential ESL teachers. So maybe those rumors about the wedding and all those concerns were justified after all…