SEOUL-- Labor minister-nominee Kim Young-joo is a third-term legislator who switched from basketball courts to labor unions in her career pursuits.

Kim played on a bank-owned basketball team and later became an employee of the bank. In 1985, she became the leader of the women's committee at the bank's union, her first step into labor activities.

Kim's focus has been on gender equality in employment and workplaces. In 1995, she became the first woman to serve as vice chairman of the country's financial industry union. Four years later, she entered the political arena as vice chairman of the then ruling party's labor committee and was elected to parliament in 2004.

She was one of the signees to a bill revision requiring companies to reveal information about the chemicals they import, manufacture and transfer. The revision was intended to prevent deadly incidents like toxic substances in humidifier cleansers that claimed tens of lives in South Korea.

The nominee, who turns 62 this week, hails from Yangpyeong of Gyeonggi Province and is a graduate of Korea National Open University.

Source: Yonhap News Agency