This female excavator operator defied her father's wishes to enter a male-dominated industry

Why I Do What I Do is an original AsiaOne series where we showcase people with uncommon professions and what it takes to get there. In Why I Do What I Do: Asia, a nine-part spin-off, we scour the region for more unconventional jobs and the stories of the people behind them.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Cha Xiao Qian defied her father’s advice not to join him as an excavator operator.

A rebel at heart, Xiao Qian grew up watching her father working on the behemoth of a machine.

So was there any doubt that she would follow in her father’s footstep?

Xiao Qian shares that she was initially the centre of attention at the construction site, being one of the few female excavator operators in Seremban, Malaysia. Besides being filmed, she recalls even receiving a thumbs up from the watching crowds. 

In her line of work, Xiao Qian has been fortunate enough not to uncover anything strange. But, she shares that “[her] father once unearthed something suspicious” that “looked like [a] skeleton”.

Having worked as an excavator operator for five years, you can believe Xiao Qian when she says that it is a “difficult job”. She explains that the job leaves her “constantly exposed to danger and inclement weather”. 

Despite this, Xiao Qian has no plans to leave to step away as an excavator operator. 

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