NPC deputy elevates domestic service past stereotype


Deputy to People's Congress Zhuo Changli (R) talks with nannies at a housekeeping company called Sunshine Elder Sister in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province, Feb 20, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]
Zhuo Changli, a deputy to the National People's Congress and an entrepreneur, has helped many domestic workers live a better life by bringing quality service to customers.

Zhuo, 56, is in charge of a housekeeping service agency named Sunshine Elder Sister in Jinan, Shandong province. Over the past 16 years, the agency has helped bring nearly two million jobs to the unemployed, mostly laid-off workers and migrant workers from rural areas.

When Zhuo took charge of Sunshine Elder Sister in 2003, the domestic service industry was mired in difficulties due to a lack of industry regulations. Customer complaints poured in and workers were in low spirits, hindering the development of the vocation.

To change the situation, Zhuo introduced an international quality management system to the industry.

"Housekeeping should no longer be viewed as trivial jobs like cooking, cleaning and babysitting," she said. "It should be transformed into a series of standardized services."

The management system regulates how domestic services should be provided. The standards cover small details in household services, such as the length of a potato shred in cooking and how to fold a cleaning cloth.

Thanks to standardized management, the satisfaction rate of customers has risen from 70 to 98 percent, Zhuo said.

Though housekeeping is stereotyped as an inferior job mostly occupied by migrant workers from rural areas, Zhuo holds a different view.

"Domestic service is a special industry. The service providers enter the home of their employers — a private space. They pass their love to the family of the employer through their work," Zhuo said.

"People are at the core of the domestic service industry. What we do is to turn 'nannies into talents'," she said.

By providing free training sessions to housekeeping workers, Sunshine Elder Sister has helped more than 6,000 people grow into high-skilled talents in the area, and more than 50,000 workers have acquired vocational skill certificates.

In 2018, Zhuo was elected as a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

In March 2018, President Xi Jinping joined in a panel discussion attended by the deputies from Shandong province in the first session of the 13th NPC.

Xi said housekeeping was a sunrise industry, and played a significant role in providing jobs to migrant workers while catering to the needs of urban families for baby and elder care.

Xi encouraged Zhuo to work hard in the industry and serve people in need.

"The president's words gave me a lot of confidence," she said. "I'm determined to do a better job in the housekeeping industry."

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