There is no doubt that newbuilding industry is men dominating generally. Women who steer their career path along this direction are faced up with more unexpecting obstacles than men. Still, more and more women professionals are making their solid presence in such areas of shipbuilding industry as management, supervision, shipbuilding, etc.
Xiawei AI, a Project Manager from Schulte Marine Concept (S.M.C.), is one of the outstanding women professionals in shipbuilding industry. Starting as a naval architect in 2001, Xiawei always knows where her passion is. Years of immersion in shipbuilding industry allowed her to accumulate comprehensive and multinational experience in various vessel types and become the shipbuilding industry expert. In 2013, Xiawei joined S.M.C. as a PA Coordinator and technical officer. 7-year engagement in the whole process of PA and committed technical support for supervision has not only enabled Xiawei to mature into one of the best in the shipbuilding industry, but also make her an outstanding exemplary role for us in S.M.C.
In 2020, Xiawei was promoted to Project Manager role in S.M.C., started to lead project teams developing and executing various projects from all over the world, and undertook more major responsibilities with top professionalism and high efficiency. Currently, there are 9 Project Managers in S.M.C. who are managing around 140 vessels, and Xiawei is the only female Project Manager among them. Actually, the ratio of female Project Manager to male Project Manager (1:8) is slightly better than the ratio of girl to boy when she was in university over 20 years ago, which was 1:9 at that time. More or less, improvement has been made in the diversity and inclusiveness in shipbuilding industry, but still far from enough.
When asked about suggestion Xiawei would like to share with all female employees, “Just do it!”, she said with her iconic radiant smile, and added “Now when I look back, everything I have been through seems easy and hard at the same time”. We understand that it is her persistence and passion that play a critical part in supporting her to go through all difficulties and enjoy the days at work at the same time, and that may also be the reason why Xiawei could stand out in the shipbuilding industry.
Xiawei believes, there are many other women who also thrive and stay in this industry. All of them, together with more upcoming women employees and more women leaders in the future, will make shipbuilding industry become more diversified and inclusive, and fully manifest the power of women.