International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 around the world. This special day encourages us to honor women's achievements and reflect upon the importance of gender equality and inclusiveness. UD Trucks is proud to introduce Fu Xuewei, an engineer by trade and currently a manager in the company’s strategy department in the Manufacturing Division. Born in China, Fu came to Japan when she entered university and joined UD Trucks after graduation. She recently returned from maternity leave and shares her experience of work, life and motherhood
What made you want to become an engineer and come to Japan?
My mother was an engineer, so I think I was influenced by her. I grew up in a heavily industrialized area of China, which was where my parents worked. The air pollution was quite serious and I wanted to become an engineer and contribute somehow to solving environmental issues.
In all honestly, I came to Japan because I loved Japanese anime ever since I was a kid.
What made you join UD Trucks?
I was attracted to the fact that UD Trucks adopted the world's first urea SCR system "FLENDS", a technology that vastly improved emission standards of trucks. When I visited the factory before joining the company, I was impressed by the cleanliness of the engine production line, the ergonomics of the workplace and the friendliness of the people.
What kind of challenges have you faced during your career?
I wasn't confident in communicating in Japanese at first. I still sometimes feel some anxiety, but my colleagues always listen carefully to what I say and try to put me at ease. I feel that diversity and inclusion is really important here because everyone respects each other’s point of view and individuality. This is a place where I can freely express my ideas and opinions.
How about balancing childcare and work?
For six months after returning to work, I worked a shortened 7-hour work day. Now I work full-time. The company supports flexible ways of working, so we are able to balance childcare and work well. I go to work about once a week now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but before that I looked forward to coming to work every day.
What motivated you to move from manufacturing engineering to strategy and operations?
I thoroughly enjoyed my work as a manufacturing engineer, but I happened to find an open position following the establishment of the strategy and operations department, so I applied. I did this because I wanted to broaden my experience and career.
Lastly, can you give any career advice to women?
Open dialogue and feedback are always important. It is difficult to overcome challenges alone, but by involving others and sharing ideas you find solutions. Remember to believe in yourself, and others. That makes anything possible.