- Mar 08, 2021
- JD In-Depth
In-depth Report: JD’s Female Pioneers Are Reshaping the World
by Yuchuan Wang & Hui Zhang
International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8th, is a focal point in the women’s rights movement for the pursuit of gender equality. It is also a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
At JD.com, there are many women who have not only achieved success in their careers, but also achieved great satisfaction in their lives. These women work hard, and are confident and diligent. They make unremitting efforts to change the industry in their own field and even the world. Here are the stories of four of JD’s female employees.
Xiaoxia Zhang: Connecting rural areas with the world
When Xiaoxia Zhang looks back on the earlier parts of her life, she describes her younger self in humble terms: “I couldn’t have been more ordinary.” Back then, she was a full-time housewife living in Linze, Gansu province.
Linze is 40 kilometers away from Zhangye, a city that attracts tens of millions of travelers to the beautiful scenery of its Danxia geomorphology. Local residents, particularly in Linze, were almost cut off from the rapidly developing Chinese e-commerce industry, with parcels taking about a week to arrive, when some larger cities were already enjoying same-day delivery.
That all changed when Zhang decided to say farewell the housewife life, establishing the first JD delivery station in Linze.
Xiaoxia Zhang in front of her station
In 2016, Zhang noticed a JD Logistics courier recruiting poster in her WeChat social media feed. “I was quite nervous to apply for the position,” Zhang said. “At that point I had never had a job, not to mention I’m also a bit introverted and a courier may need to have good communication skills.”
Zhang decided to call the number on the poster anyway, and soon learned about JD’s program to build “pioneer stations” in rural areas all over China to connect rural people with global offerings through its logistics and e-commerce platform.
Being a “pioneer” meant the newcomers would need to create a JD outpost from scratch- and alone, due to the small volume of orders at the beginning. As the job requires some physical labor, the conventional thinking held that men might have an advantage in the position.
But Zhang didn’t give up, and her determination touched JD’s recruiter. In her first few months on the job, the company assigned a mentor courier to teach Zhang how to use systems, communicate with customers and drive a delivery vehicle.
“I remember that on the first day I joined JD, on Mar. 11 in 2016, there were only eight parcels for delivery,” said Zhang. “I was too shy to talk to customers, but there was a young teacher in a local middle school who knew I was JD’s first courier in Linze, so he gave me a five-star score on JD’s app. That was the first time I felt how fulfilling this job could be.”
Now, with Zhang’s dedication in the past five years, shopping online with fast delivery is no longer a rare thing for people living in Linze. Placing an order in the evening and receiving it the next morning is the new normal. “Now I have two more colleagues at the station, and we deliver over 200 parcels daily on average, and during peak sales seasons, the amount will go up to over 800.”
“My life dream was to buy an apartment here in Lingze, and now I’ve achieved that dream through my own efforts at JD, something that I couldn’t imagine before.”
“Now I think I have also fulfilled another dream, to connect the world by my hands with everyone in Linze.”
Ying Zhao: Shaping the future of the modern city
Ying Zhao is shaping the future of people’s lives, as a scientist in charge of R&D of JD iCity, a project led by Dr. Yu Zheng, an outstanding AI scientist at JD Technology.
Cities worldwide are faced with ongoing problems in traffic congestion, medical care, and urban management, among many others. JD iCity is dedicated to using technology to address these issues. “I hope my research can be put into real application, serving every resident by turning technology into real products,” said Zhao.
When Zhao was studying for her doctorate degree at Tsinghua University, she participated in a program to use video analysis technology to recognize and quickly respond to emergencies happening to women. “We always read news about women being hurt in underground garages, or getting robbed at night,” Zhao said. “Now, through our technology we can use video analysis to recognize and sound the alarm in these situations to protect women.”
Last September, JD and Nanton, a city in Jiangsu province, announced the two parties have built China’s first modern governance command center. To fulfill this project, Zhao and her team stayed in Nanton for several months. The project is ambitious and wide-ranging, with an impact that will be sensed by every resident, she said.
One application of the project is the intelligent supervision system for hazardous chemicals. For example, by monitoring the transportation routes of trucks carrying hazardous chemicals, the system can closely monitor abnormal behavior like sudden prolonged stops or detours; and by analyzing the surrounding environment, it can determine the root cause, such as irregular transportation or illegal production.
After the launch of the Nantong project, Zhao feels more connected to the city itself when she walks its streets, she said.
“As a result of our work I saw the environment around the campus get more quiet, and the city administrative hall became more efficient with fewer queues,” Zhao said. “With one click in the command center, we can know the dynamic number of tourists in Langshan (a local tourist site), and in the future we will see the environment get greener. I feel like Nantong has become my second hometown, as I have measured it with data and my own footsteps.”
Dongyuan Wang: Redefining the healthy industry
“What can really reshape the health industry must be a compassionate heart, eyes full of awe and desire to change the industry step by step”—This is the philosophy driving Dongyuan Wang, the general manager of JD Health’s Intelligent Medical Services Department, as she explores the burgeoning field of digital health.
Prior to JD Health, Wang worked with IBM and Microsoft, where she was responsible for sales of big data’s analytical products. She has nearly 15 years of working experiences related to technology and big data, and has rich experience in accelerating industrial development through scientific and technological innovation. Her previous work empowered her to get access to different industries, and of these areas she believes that the potential of the health industry is the most impressive, after having witnessed how technology has helped thousands of patients.
She recalled a fond memory of cooperation with Ruijin Hospital, a renowned general hospital in Shanghai, on the precision of medication for children with leukemia. Arsenic trioxide is helpful in controlling certain types of leukemia and can effectively control the progression of the disease. It is widely used in clinical applications, but arsenic trioxide is highly toxic and potentially life-threatening if it is taken in the wrong dosage. Through in-depth research with professional doctors and technicians, she found that technology could provide doctors with guiding doses of medication, improving the safety of medication, and saving sick children from the improper medication.
“Patients want to spend less to get more healthcare, and that can only be changed through technology,” said Wang.
In 2016, Wang started her own business, but this experience also made her realize that it was hard to realize her dream without strong technical and platform capabilities. In 2018 she decided to join JD. Now JD Health is listed in Hong Kong to benefit more people through a way of combining both internet and healthcare. She has also led her team to create a PharmCOO (“Pharma chief operating officer”), an AI-based prescription review and analysis system, that optimizes the clinical prescription process and improves patient safety.
Dongyuan Wang (right) and Lijun Xin, CEO of JD Health, on the listing ceremony of JD Health
Wang is also mom to a 10-year-old girl. Whenever she is tired, her daughter always gives her a hug and says something sweet, Wang recalls with a smile. Her husband also supports her unconditionally. Because of the support from her family, she has more time to study digital health. She likes to find answers by reading, and always reads each book at least twice, drawing the key points of the reading with a mind map.
“I may be a little clumsy sometimes, but I am diligent and I know when to seize the opportunity when it comes, Wang said. “I hope I can have more in-depth understanding of health industry and reshape the industry in a digital way.”
Dongyuan Wang and her daught
Kunjiara: Making society a better place
Kunjira Pavasant, the head of the branding marketing team of JD CENTRAL, JD’s joint venture in Thailand, is a skilled marketer with over 15 years of experience and always has a passion for making a difference in the world. Over the past decade, she has participated in a few volunteer works for good causes.
Before joining JD, Pavasant worked as a CSR specialist for TMB Foundation focusing on building sustainable development of youth and community. Half of her job with the foundation involved inspiring and empowering youth, especially those who are underprivileged, to become “change makers”. The foundation runs 4 youth centers offering a free 3-year-program of art and life-skill classes to underprivileged kids in the nearby communities.
In return, each kid would only need to give their commitment to help make their own community better using the skills and knowledge they have learned in the form of “community improvement projects”. So far, 4 out of the many community projects from kids have grown and evolved to be a social enterprise that will improve health and wellness of the community in a sustainable manner.
“The volunteer and CSR experiences really have inspired me to pursue a career that allows me to create a meaningful impact to the people and society,” said Pavasant.
“I believe working at JD CENTRAL would give me such an opportunity with the company’s commitment to promoting access to quality products and trustworthy services among Thai consumers anytime anywhere.”
JD is dedicated to promoting gender equality in the workforce, and toward this end has made efforts to help working mothers better balance their work and life in the workplace by continuously improving preferential policies for women. At present, JD provides on-site childcare to alleviate pressure on female employees who have children, and more.