[CNN] How one woman beat South Korea’s pay gap

May 20, 2015


CEO and founder of HAAN appliances Romi Haan (Twitter)

CEO and founder of HAAN appliances Romi Haan (Twitter)


South Korean women suffer the worst pay gap in the developed world, and the discrimination doesn’t end there. That didn’t stop one budding entrepreneur.

Romi Haan was scrubbing the floor on her hands and knees when she came up with the idea that would change her life.

“In Korea we live on the floor, we sleep on the floor, we play on the floor, we do everything on the floor,” she told CNN. “So it is very important to keep the floors clean, and it’s one of the most hated household chores for Korean housewives.”

Haan’s idea was to develop a steam mop to relieve the drudgery. It proved hugely popular in South Korea and abroad.

Now, she is the head of HAAN, a multi-million dollar home appliances company — a rare position for a Korean woman to find herself in.