Jan 19, 2023|

JD.com Recognized for Best Practice of Women Empowerment by APEC


by Vivian Yang and Tong Shen

JD.com was recognized among those with the best innovation practices in women’s empowerment by the APEC Women’s Leadership Forum, which was held on January 14 in Sanya, China. The recognition was given based on JD Retail’s special program, known as the “Sunshine Angels,” which aims to provide physically challenged people with online customer service job opportunities with an energetic team led by women leaders.

Encouraging gender equality, enhancing women’s rights and abilities, and engaging them in the development of digital economies were among the main considerations of the APEC jury while assessing each case submitted for this year’s final nominees.

The “Sunshine Angels” program was selected mainly for its inclusiveness toward physically challenged female employees in the fast-growing e-commerce industry, enabling them not only gain confidence in themselves, but also create value for society, which is in line with the UN’s SDG to promote sustainable consumption and production.

At present, the “Sunshine Angels” team has expanded from 12 to nearly 100 people, with women accounting for 70 percent of the core members, contributing greatly to the team’s strength. The following two stories of team members shed some light on how the program raises women up in their professions and beyond.

Inclusiveness and equality

Huili Song is a congenital cleft lip and palate patient, with dysphonia. She had been rejected more than 40 times for jobs before becoming a JD.com online customer service representative in the “Sunshine Angels” Project. According to Song, the compensation and benefits, promotion opportunities, training programs, and other benefits that are same as non-disabled employees have boosted her self-esteem and ambition. Despite her struggles with pronunciation, her gift of articulate communication has been fully demonstrated and brought into play through typing in her current role. She has placed 1st in performance for six consecutive months, demonstrating her excellent work ethic and potential to be cultivated as a leader.

Concerning the physical protection and mental support of the “Sunshine Angels,” JD has set up exclusive barrier-free facilities in office areas, restaurants, dormitories and washrooms etc., and regular gatherings and counseling are provided at no charge.

In addition, JD.com has continued co-working with third parties to enrich employment for physically challenged people, and has provided technical training for thousands of individuals so far.

For example, in 2017, JD cooperated with China Foundation for Disabled Persons (CFDP) and L’Oreal Group to provide a variety of support options for physically challenged people, such as counseling, employment training and diversified job positions, ultimately helping 400 such individuals get  their jobs.

Regain confidence in life even when struggling

On the “Sunshine Angels” team, there are many women who are keen to participate in voluntary activities, using their own personal experiences to inspire more people who struggle with physical challenges. Shenghua Luo, who cannot walk normally due to a congenital disease, has taken the initiative to participate in more than 800 voluntary activities to make a difference and has set an example for many physically challenged people with her optimistic attitude towards life, helping more than 100 physically challenged people to regain their confidence in life.

During the past ten years, through working with JD.com, more and more “Sunshine Angels” have replenished their hope, recognized their own value, had more control over their lives, and provide services to society.