CHINA / SOCIETY
All-female in-flight security team breaks stereotypes, demonstrates strides in gender equality
Published: Mar 07, 2021 06:41 PM
Li Sijia, an in-flight security officer, takes her daily combat training.

Li Sijia, an in-flight security officer, takes her daily combat training.



Monday marks International Women's Day. Nowadays in China, women can be spotted in many positions traditionally considered to be "men only," performing duties excellently while inspiring younger generations. 

In China Express Airlines, there is a unique all-female team of five women who work as security officers with an average age of 26. They are responsible for in-flight security and are known as the "blue sky guards." The team's name - "Lan Yun Team" - means "Mulan in the blue sky who is adept with both the pen and the sword."

As opposed to flight attendants and pilots, they don't don beautiful uniforms, nor do they have many opportunities to publicly show their work. They are low-key, and even a little mysterious in the cabin. But they remain vigilant to ensure order and safety in the cabin.

The young women of the "Lan Yun Team" have the perseverance to refuse to admit defeat. They fight and train with their male colleagues. And their meticulous, thoughtful, patient and gentle qualities have unique advantages when dealing with particular security incidents in the sky. 

In China, an in-flight security team was first founded in 1973. The officers' nerves have to be acute since boarding the plane. They need to be on standby 24 hours after getting off work and return to their posts immediately in case of an emergency. 

Over the past year, the word "sisters" has featured in various television dramas and entertainment programs with women's voices on marriage and fertilities becoming even louder which deepened public reflections on gender equality. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of women also demonstrated "she power" by participating in this unprecedented health crisis. 

The latest survey conducted by Chinese job hunting platform Zhilian Zhaopin showed Chinese women earn 12 percent less than men, but the gap has narrowed by 5 percentage points compared with last year, and the disparity has declined for two consecutive years.

Women in the workplace are more aware and more confident in their leadership, with the proportion of mid-level female leaders is increasing. 

About 56 percent of female employees have a bachelor's degree or above, while only 46.7 percent of male employees have a bachelor's degree or above. Moreover, 77.7 percent of female respondents believe that women are qualified to be top executives in companies, while an average of 53.1 percent of men doubt the competence of female leaders.

Liu Yao, a member of the China Express  in-flight security team, checks the cabin.

Liu Yao, a member of the China Express in-flight security team, checks the cabin.



 
Liu Yao (left), a aviation security officer practices fighting skills with her colleague.

Liu Yao (left), a aviation security officer practices fighting skills with her colleague.

Members of the female in-flight security team, checks the luggage-rack on a flight.

Members of the female in-flight security team, checks the luggage-rack on a flight.

 

The female in-flight security team of China Express Airlines

The female in-flight security team of China Express Airlines



 

Global Times


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