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Yorum Beekman

PhD candidate

Dr. C.H. Beekman
+31 71 527 2171

Choon Beekman doesn't have a desk at the university. Please send an email if you want to contact her. The above mentioned telephone number is the number of the secretariat.

More information about Yorum Beekman

Personal details

Drs Choon Ha (Yorum) Beekman
Mobile: +31628611360

Fields of interest

  • Women’s career advancement in Japanese and South Korean work organizations
  • Sociology of work
  • Corporate HR policies and practices (e.g., diversity management, work-family)
  • Organizational behavior and change mechanisms
  • Women in management theory
  • Labor market inequality in the post-war economies of Japan and South Korean

Research project

Gender Dimensions in Career Advancement: A Comparison of Japanese and South Korean Work Organizations

Many keiretsu (in Japan) and chaebŏl (in South Korea), as industry leaders and most prestigious employers, have significantly raised the number of female graduate recruits in recent years and made serious efforts to accommodate them with family-friendly and diversity policies. However, they nevertheless experience difficulties to retain career oriented women along the corporate pipeline. Despite a growing awareness among corporate leaders and policy makers, the ratio of women in (senior) management has remained remarkably low in both countries. I wish to contribute to our understanding of the career paths of women in management positions, the process in which proactive policies are put to practice, and women's agency based on an examination of corporations with family-friendly and gender diversity policies. By using a comparative case study approach with mixed methods in data collection (i.e., employee survey, in-depth interviews, panel discussions, etc.), the project goes beyond identifying challenges of diversity management based on the surface HR configuration and seeks to also unravel change mechanisms that were effective within Japanese and South Korean enterprises from the perspective of both the employer and employees. It uses a grounded theory approach considering the underdeveloped stage of diversity management and women in management theory in the Japanese and Korean context.

This project will explore how policies, and the ways they are practiced, affect the work life experiences of career women. It also examines the efficacy of implemented family-friendly programs (maternity/childcare-leave, day-care assistance) and promotion programs for women (career development training, mentoring programs) in terms of actual utilization which is a major concern for HR departments nowadays. The objective is to find out what corporate and personal strategies contribute to better career outcomes for women. To this date, there are not many comparative case studies that examine in-depth how the careers of women within Japanese and South Korean work organizations proceed after the implementation of proactive policies. While previous scholarship in both countries has predominantly focused on organizational factors such as employment- and promotion systems that channel women to the periphery or the masculine corporate culture of long working hours that impairs women’s work-family balance (Brinton 2001; Kang and Rowley 2006; Kimoto 2005), this project looks at the dynamics between individual agency, organizational structure factors, and the larger social context based on the comprehensive Gender-Organization-System (GOS) framework. The GOS perspective (Fagenson 1990) has proven to be particularly useful in the study of the multifaceted experiences of women in work organizations (Omar and Davidson 2001; Yukongdi and Benson 2006; Yukongdi and Rowley 2009) and is also applicable to the Asian context (Lee and Rowley 2009; Yuasa 2009).

Supervisors: Prof Dr Remco Breuker and Dr Aya Ezawa



2015-Present PhD Candidate Korean Studies, Institute of Area Studies (Leiden University)
2014-2015 PhD Candidate, Graduate School of International Studies (Yonsei University), coursework
2000-2006 MA Korean Studies (Leiden University)


2018 ICLON BKO modules: Delivery of Education, Testing & Assessment, and Inclusive Education (Leiden University)
2016 Japanese Language Program - Level 3 (Sophia University)
2009-2010 Propedeuse BA Psychology (Open University, the Netherlands)
2003-2004 Korean Language Program – Level 3-6 (Yonsei University)
2003 Special Program for Korean Language Instructors, Institute of Language Research and Education (Yonsei University)


2019-2020 Instructor BA Japanstudies (Leiden University), the Netherlands
2007-2008 Change Manager (Anoosh Elika Trading LLC), Tehran, Iran
2006-2007 Project Manager (Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency Korea, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs), Seoul, Korea
2006 Researcher Creative Industries (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Korea), Seoul, Korea
2004-2005 Student Member of the Board of Asian Studies (Leiden University), the Netherlands
2004 Efficiency Coordinator (ING Life Korea), internship, Seoul, Korea

Other Projects

2011-2014 Organizer socio-cultural events, artist: “Why? Curiosity” (Museum Café Pili Pala), “Timeless” (Pop-up Studio), “Spiritus Mundi” (Southern Cross Resort & Spa), and “Donkey is King” (Museum Café Pili Pala) Shizuoka, Japan
2008-2009 Director Documentary Film “Chador: Women’s Protection or Limitation” (Pouran Derakhshandeh Productions) Tehran, Selected for IDFA Docs for Sale 2009
2007-2009 Author Non-Fiction Book “In het Bolwerk van de Grote Leider: 5 Dagen in Noord Korea”, 5 Days in North Korea (Gopher Publisher, ISBN: 9789051796629)

Grants and awards

  • 2018-2019 Korea Foundation Fellowship for Graduate Studies
  • 2017-2018 Japan Foundation Fellowship Program
  • 2014-2015 Ki-Hyun Scholarship
  • 2003-2004 Korea Foundation Scholarship

Key publications

Beekman, Yorum Choon Ha. 2017. "Work-Family Policies and Women’s Career Outcomes in South Korean Firms." Journal Research Institute for Women and Careers 9: 65-78 (research paper).

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Korea

No relevant ancillary activities

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