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Women in male-dominated industries try to break the glass ceiling but still face difficulty

Christina Ho tried to keep the airplane’s rudder steady while responding to air traffic controls.  She used to be a fashion designer but became an airline pilot for one of Hong Kong's leading airlines five years ago. Only 5.8% of the commercial airline pilots in the world are women, according to the data released by the International Society of Women Pilots.   “As one of the few girls with no experience or engineering background in the class, I always reminded myself not to compare with others but only try my best,” Ho said. “I’ve never worried about the difficulties of being a woman or other people’s prejudice.” Ho once had an opportunity to enter the cockpit and watch the captain's professional operation when she was a flight attendant. She fell in love with this career and was attracted by its multi-tasking characteristics. “My heart beats faster and faster while taking off and speeding up, ” Ho said. “This experience inspired me to take hold of the motivation to learn when I come across something that captures my interest. ” At first, Ho’s mother didn't understand the hard work involved in the pilot training course.  “After I flew with my mother for more than two hours in Australia when I graduated,  my mother learned more about my work, understood my pilot dream and supported my career,” Ho said.  Being a pilot is one of a number of professions that’s traditionally dominated by men. According to LinkedIn’s 2021 Opportunity Index, 41% of women in Asia Pacific believe they have fewer career development opportunities than men. A third of them thought gender was a barrier and there’s a lack of mentorship for women. Taki Li, 33, a head bartender at Bar Leone in Central, has been in this field for eight years. “My family …

Society

Hong Kong kickstarts monthly pyrotechnics on Labour Day

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: AU YEUNG Jim、AO Wei Ying VinciEdited by: Jemima Badajos
  • 2024-05-07

A 10-minute pyrotechnic display lit up the sky of Victoria Harbour on Labour Day. It is the first instalment of the government’s plan to hold pyrotechnics and drone displays every month to better utilise harbourfront resources, boost tourism and stimulate consumption, as explained in this year’s budget address.

Society

The Wild Side of Hong Kong

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: XIA Fan、ZHANG YipingEdited by: Ji Youn Lee、James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTO
  • 2024-05-02

Intrepid snake watchers trudged through dense vegetation in northern Hong Kong, New Territory. Holding flashlights and expensive cameras, they trekked through wet grass and heavy mud in search of slithering snakes and vicious vipers. Leading them is William Sargent, a grizzled tour guide. He used to be the snake catcher who was authorised by Hong Kong police. Since 2017, he has been organising "Snake Safaris", nighttime excursions in the lush and diverse landscapes of Hong Kong. Sargent’s groups venture into areas such as Tai Mo Shan Country Park, where some of Hong Kong’s highest peaks are located. Every year from May to August, Sargent leads hundreds of adventurous visitors on these exciting expeditions. Snake Safari is a way for Sargent to improve awareness and build appreciation of snakes among the public. He sees it as a privilege to help people explore Hong Kong’s venomous, nocturnal wildlife. “Some people are very scared of snakes but they want to learn more. Some people are very interested. Some people want to introduce their children to wildlife to make them more interested,” Sargent said. “People that come on are very positive.” Apart from the reputation of being a metropolitan and financial hub, Hong Kong is rich and dense in biodiversity. These attributes have attracted people worldwide to appreciate its unique charm and strive to protect its teeming wildlife. According to government data, Hong Kong boasts a rich biodiversity with around 3,300 plant species, 55 species of land-dwelling mammals, 115 species of amphibians and reptiles, 194 species of freshwater fish, and over 375 species of insects. Professor Timothy Bonebrake, a Hong Kong University professor in biological sciences who studied snakes in Hong Kong, said snakes, being the main predators of many species, play an important role in the local ecosystem. “The diversity of snakes in …

Society

“Enough is Enough”: Thousands Rally in Brisbane to End Violence against Women

Around 3,500 to 4000 people chanted and marched around the centre of Brisbane City, to and from King George Square, to call for an end to gender-based violence on April 28.  There were similar rallies across Australia at 17 locations including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Adelaide. The marches demanded government action, including more funding for domestic, family and sexual violence support services, and acknowledgement that this is a ‘national emergency’.  Data from an advocacy group Destroy the Joint revealed that 27 women have died in gender-based violence since the beginning of the year, 11 more than for the same period last year. The rallies also followed a stabbing attack at a Sydney shopping centre this month in which six people were killed, including five women. Astrid Raschke, 21, a trans-non-binary protester shared their experience of sexual violence from their teenage years.  “By the time I was 21, I had experienced more sexual violence, more rape, than I had consensual sex. I will live with this trauma forever, and on the worst days, it feels like it has marred and touched every aspect of my life,” Raschke said.  The police, they said, did not respond to their reports. As of now, the Queensland Police Service's duties include providing an investigation into the location of any domestic violence incident and taking the perpetrator into custody. Raschke believed that every major organisation is complicit in violence against women and there must be more funds to encourage domestic violence conversations.  “I don’t know a single woman, a single non-male, that hasn’t experienced sexual harassment, been touched by domestic violence. That’s not good enough,” they said. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, at least one in five women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 between 2021 and 2022.  The rally was …

Society

Rep Your Style: The Enduring Allure of Vintage Fashion

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Jemima Badajos、Sze Kei WONG、Ka Man WongEdited by: Jenny Lam
  • 2024-04-29

Originating from Japan, the ‘vintage clothing’ concept first made its way to Hong Kong around the 1990s and stayed trendy to this day, continuing to be an outlet for the city’s youth to discover different fashion styles and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Society

Big, loud and looking for a mate - Asian Koels in Hong Kong

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTOEdited by: Xiya RUI、Hanzhi YANG
  • 2024-04-22

As dawn cracks and you wake up to prepare for work, school or other routines, your day may go undisturbed without a sharp two-toned “koo-ah,” courtesy of the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus), a common sight in Hong Kong. Steady into Spring, the cacophonous calls of the Asian Koel echo throughout Hong Kong, signalling the mating season for the city’s feathered friends. With a vocalisation akin to their onomatopoeic name, the Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed cuckoo species common in Hong Kong and widely distributed throughout East, South and Southeast Asia. Although they are resident birds, they are only heard vocalising during the breeding season, typically between March and August. “I’ve seen some people imitate their sounds whenever I visit the park,” said birder John Chow Kwok-pun. “Some people don’t even recognise what bird is making those noises.” The “ko-ah” call is produced by the male koels, which sport glossy black plumage, to attract females, identifiable by their white and black streaks. Like certain bird species, such as herons and hawks, they have crimson irises. Asian Koels can be found in urban parks and the countryside, perched high in the trees where they vocalise. Being mainly fruit-eaters, they can also be observed perched near fruit trees. “They are frugivorous birds, which means they can be good seed dispersers,” said Bond Shum, founder of Outdoor Wildlife Learning Hong Kong. “Frugivorous birds mainly take fruits in their diet and they can fly with a larger foraging range which helps to disperse the seeds further away from the mother tree,” said Shum. “With the protection of an indigestible seed coat, the seeds are excreted and dispersed when the birds fly away from the fruiting tree.” Asian Koels also possess the behavioural pattern of brood parasites. Brood parasitism is observed among cuckoo species where …

Society

Exhibitors disappointed by poor customer traffic at the lighting fair are looking for better turnout in Autumn

The 15th Edition of the Lighting Fair held by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council from Apr. 6 to Apr. 9, drew 200,000 visitors and disappointed exhibitors because of poor turnout. With the theme of “bright lighting smart living”, the spring lighting fair covered commercial lighting, decorative lighting, residential lighting, and technical lighting with accessories, showcasing an extensive array of lighting products and solutions. The Hong Kong International Lighting Fair is an annual exhibition for international buyers to learn about trends and innovations. The Autumn edition is regarded as the largest and most influential professional lighting exhibition in Asia.  "As our experience, the spring edition is typically not optimistic. So we had low expectations for this edition," said Huang Wing, a sales representative at LED Night Lights, a light fixture company based in Zhongshan. “The customer traffic and turnout in the Autumn edition is usually better.” Ariana Chen, sales manager from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, was disappointed with the poor turnout. “We've been doing this for over a decade, and this year there aren't as many people as in previous years, also with fewer exhibitors. You can see from the large open area in the back of the exhibition hall,” said Chen. Zhu Yixin, 32, a seller from Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, said their turnout and visitors were not bustling this year. “Our company has been producing outdoor lights for 26 years, ” said Zhu. “Maybe it is because the light fixtures look so old-fashioned.” “Most of the exhibitors who take part in the Spring exhibition can get a better booth to displace in autumn,” said Zhu. “I hope we can have more turnout this autumn.” Cloye Wu, senior account manager, was looking forward to a better customer traffic this autumn, “The turnout this year didn’t reach our expectation, both exhibitors and …

Top triathletes meet at Central Harbourfront for Olympic qualification

  • 2024-04-15
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: AO Wei Ying Vinci、LAI Uen LingEdited by: Ka Man Wong
  • 2024-04-15

More than 120 athletes from 37 regions compete in the second 2024 World Triathlon Cup. The event at Central Harbourfront is held on the hottest March day on record at 31.5 degrees Celsius. Apart from the intense competition among elite athletes in the morning, there are also the super sprint races for young athletes and a post-race carnival which is open to everyone.

Society

Taiwan quake disrupts Xiamen high-speed rail services

Thousands of passengers were left stranded at Xiamen Railway Station on the mainland following yesterday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Hualien in Taiwan. High-speed rail services were cancelled or delayed as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of passengers.  Taiwan authorities said the earthquake was the strongest to hit the island in at least 25 years, with a depth of 15.5km. It was also felt in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Ningde in Fujian province on the mainland, according to Chinese state media.   Yu Shihuan, a passenger at Xiamen Railway Station told TYR News that it was the first time he had felt an earthquake. “My phone beeped warning me of the earthquake. I thought it was only an alarm. It was not until I felt my chair shook that I realized it was an earthquake. ” Yu said“I grabbed my friends, who were about to run out of the station to stay in a corner because I know it is only after the first strong wave that we can escape,” The Dispatching Director of Xiamen Railway Station, Zhao Ping, said high-speed trains were not allowed to set off from Xiamen. More than 30 services were suspended. Only a small number  of trains could go north.  “We have to check the quality of some of our earthquake-affected railways to ensure they are suitable for letting the high-speed railway trains pass. The earthquake can crack tracks.” said Huang Shuying, technical engineer of Xiamen Railway Station. The station was in chaos as the information on the station’s big screen was confusing.Wong Xi, a passenger who arrived at the station in the morning, said he had been waiting for more than seven hours but was still not able to leave.  “The train I was about to board passed through Xiamen. The big …

Society

Hong Kong retail sales edge up amid changes in consumer spending patterns

  • By: Subin JOEdited by: Runqing LI
  • 2024-04-04

Hong Kong's retail sales saw a modest year-on-year increase in the first two months of 2024 despite shifting consumer spending patterns and the evolving retail sector landscape, according to official data,  The government’s provisional figures showed on Wednesday that the total retail sales value was provisionally estimated at HK$33.8 billion in February, marking a 1.9% increase from the same period last year. Revised estimated data for January showed a year-on-year increase of 0.9%.  Retail sales value increased by 1.4% in the first two months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, while online retail sales decreased by 15.9% in the same period in 2023. Kevin Kim, 28, a research analyst at Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation, explained that the decrease in online retail sales could be attributed to several factors. “One possibility is that consumers have begun to prefer shopping at traditional retail stores, which could be a rebound from the increased online shopping activities during the pandemic. Additionally, intensified competition in certain online marketplaces may have also played a role,” he said. After adjusting for price changes, the volume of total retail sales in February recorded a year-on-year increase of 0.5%. Nonetheless, when January and February 2024 were considered together, a decrease of 0.4% in volume was observed, indicating a nuanced recovery in retail sector performance. “It should be noted that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year,” the government said in the press release. “... It is more appropriate to analyse the retail sales figures for January and February taken together in making a year-on-year comparison.” For significant types of retail outlets, the first two months of 2024 saw 8.8% increases in sales of jewellery, watches, clocks, and valuable …