In China, some professions have been traditionally male-dominated. However, in recent years, more and more women are joining these fields and excelling. Women like Zhang Zhiduo, a 28-year-old tower crane operator from Yunnan Province, Luo Danyi, a 30-year-old pilot with Xiamen Airlines, Kuang Xiaoyu is a 32-year-old woman who has been working as a delivery person for S.F. Holding Co., Ltd. in Xiamen City, and many other strong women are defying stereotypes and breaking down barriers.
Zhiduo works for China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co., Ltd and began her career in 2020 after graduating from college. It took her three months to complete her training, and since then, she has been proving herself in a challenging and male-dominated field.
Each day, Zhiduo must climb dozens of meters to reach the operating room of her tower crane. Her first task was to operate the crane at a height of 103 meters, and she admits to being terrified at the beginning. However, her husband, who is also a tower crane operator, encouraged her to keep going.
Zhiduo’s husband advised her always to “look up” and never to look down. He told her to hold tight and climb up one step at a time. With her husband’s encouragement and her own determination, Zhiduo overcame her initial fear and has been performing her duties with excellence ever since.
The small operating room, measuring just two square meters, is where Zhang spends up to 10 hours a day, and she has gotten used to the tower crane’s movements. Despite the tower crane’s shaking when the wind is strong and the operating room’s lowering when heavy loads are lifted, Zhang is never lonely because she is always too busy to think of anything else. Her experience as a tower crane operator has taught her to be resilient and adapt to challenges as they arise.
Zhang has observed that compared to male operators, women tend to be more careful, which is an advantage in their line of work. After finishing her work for the day, she always makes video calls to her parents to chat with them. Her parents were initially against her choice of becoming a tower crane operator, considering it a “dangerous” profession, but Zhang convinced them to accept her decision.
Zhang’s goal is to learn more about tower crane maintenance, which will help her in advancing her career. She finds satisfaction in her work, and every time she completes a project, she feels a sense of accomplishment. She believes that being involved in the process of transforming flat ground into a towering building is a privilege and an honor. In Zhang’s view, working in a field that has historically been male-dominated is an opportunity for women to break down barriers and prove that they are just as capable as men.
Zhiduo’s success is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination. She has proven that women can succeed in male-dominated fields and that with the right mindset and support, anything is possible. By following her husband’s advice to “look up,” Zhiduo has not only excelled at her job but also set an example for other women who may be considering entering non-traditional professions.
Her journey as a tower crane operator is a reminder that women can overcome obstacles, work hard, and derive a sense of accomplishment from their work. Zhang’s dedication and perseverance in her profession serve as an inspiration to other women who aspire to break gender stereotypes and follow their dreams. Zhang’s story is an excellent example of how a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a passion for one’s work can help one achieve their goals, regardless of gender.
Luo Danyi, a 30-year-old pilot with Xiamen Airlines, was once just a young girl watching a TV drama about aviation workers called “Triumph in the Skies” from her home in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The drama inspired her, and she dreamt of becoming a pilot herself.
After several years, Luo’s dream began to come true when she enrolled at the Civil Aviation Flight University of China. She spent four years studying there before becoming a pilot with Xiamen Airlines in 2014. Reflecting on her journey, Luo said that becoming a pilot requires more than just knowledge of flying skills and the ability to identify and control risks. One must also be able to cooperate with other crew members and communicate with dispatchers. She added that the carefulness and discernment of females can be particularly helpful in this role.
According to Luo, there have been many successful female pilots in China, and she hopes that more girls will be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Recently, Luo worked as a consultant for a new TV drama about female pilots that was released late last year. She was thrilled to see that many girls left messages expressing their desire to become pilots after watching the show. Luo believes that being a pilot is a job to be proud of and hopes that more young girls will pursue this career path.
Luo’s own journey from a young girl watching a TV drama to becoming a successful pilot highlights the importance of dreaming big and working hard to achieve one’s goals. She is proof that with dedication and perseverance, anything is possible.
In addition, Luo’s experience also highlights the importance of representation in media. Seeing characters on TV who look like oneself or who are pursuing similar goals can be incredibly inspiring, particularly for young people. Luo hopes that her own story and the TV drama she consulted for will encourage more young girls to pursue careers in aviation.
Despite the glamour associated with being a pilot, Luo Danyi acknowledged that the job also involves hardship. Pilots often work long hours, waking up early and working late, and they frequently have to work during holidays when most people are enjoying time with their families. However, Luo believes that the satisfaction of safely transporting passengers to their destinations makes it all worthwhile.
One of Luo’s most memorable experiences as a pilot was when she was tasked with transporting a donated heart from Fuzhou in east China to Wuhan in central China. The heart needed to be transplanted urgently, and Luo was moved by the donor’s selflessness in giving hope to someone else in their final moments. As the pilot responsible for transporting the heart, Luo felt fortunate to be able to play a role in delivering this gift of love. The experience was emotional and wonderful for her.
Luo’s experience highlights the importance of the work that pilots do beyond just transporting passengers from one place to another. They are often responsible for transporting critical medical supplies, organs for transplant, and other essential cargo. These tasks require pilots to be highly skilled and responsible, as their actions can have a significant impact on people’s lives.
For Luo, being a pilot is more than just a job – it is a calling. She takes pride in her work and the impact she can have on people’s lives, whether it’s safely transporting passengers to their destinations or delivering critical supplies that can save lives. Despite the challenges and hardships of the job, Luo feels grateful for the opportunity to do meaningful work and make a positive impact on the world.
Overall, Luo’s story is a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and representation. She is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed big and worked hard to make those dreams a reality.
Kuang Xiaoyu is a 32-year-old woman who has been working as a delivery person for S.F. Holding Co., Ltd. in Xiamen City, Fujian Province for over five years. When she started her job, she was the only female delivery person at her workplace. Now, there are five women in the same role. Despite the challenges of the job, including heavy lifting and long hours, Kuang remains determined to provide for her daughter and be a positive role model.
In 2017, when her daughter was around four years old, Kuang wanted to find a part-time job. However, after she was accepted as a delivery person, she decided to work full-time. Kuang’s day typically starts at 6 a.m., and she handles around 100 packages per day, working until 7 p.m. These long hours are necessary to keep up with the high volume of packages and ensure timely deliveries.
One of the challenges of Kuang’s job is navigating buildings without elevators, which can be common in the area where she works. Carrying packages weighing up to 20 kg up several flights of stairs can be physically demanding, especially for someone who was not accustomed to such labor before. Kuang recalled that when she started, she had to rest several times on her way to the fifth floor. However, after years of exercise and hard work, she has built up the strength and stamina to handle it with ease.
Kuang Xiaoyu believes that delivery women have a unique advantage over their male counterparts in being more amiable and careful. According to her, the most important aspect of a delivery person’s job is to serve customers with their heart. Kuang emphasizes that the sincerity of the delivery person should be felt by the customers, particularly when handling packages that are needed urgently or are expensive. She believes that it is their responsibility to ensure that these packages are safely delivered to their destination.
As working conditions have improved, welfare and social recognition have increased, leading to more women choosing this profession. Kuang has seen a positive change at her workplace with five female delivery persons currently working alongside her. She feels that the job brings her happiness, particularly when she completes an urgent delivery and receives gratitude from customers. She takes pride in knowing that by doing her job well, she can help other people.
Kuang’s day starts early, at 6 a.m., and ends late, at 7 p.m. On average, she handles about 100 packages daily. In her area, many buildings are old and lack elevators, making it difficult to carry packages weighing up to 20 kg. At the beginning, she had to rest several times when carrying heavy packages up to the fifth floor. However, years of experience have made her physically stronger, and she can now handle heavy packages with ease. Despite the physical demands of the job, Kuang remains resolute and determined to continue working as a delivery woman to provide for her daughter.
Despite the difficulties of her job, Kuang remains determined to be strong for her daughter and provide for her family. She takes pride in her work and the impact it has on people’s lives. Kuang’s determination and resilience serve as an inspiration for her colleagues and anyone else facing challenges in their own lives.