Points were given to participants for navigating obstacle courses.
A Chinese forklift driver was the sole female participant in the 2005 Lafarge Boral Gypsum Asia (LBGA) forklift challenge in Malaysia last week.The Star
reported Xue, 38, from Shanghai, China, has been a forklift operator for 17 years. As far as she knows, she is the only female forklift operator employed by LBGA in China.
"When I joined LBGA 10 years ago, there might have been pressure on [the men] to perform better as it would have been a loss of face to be outperformed by a woman," she said. "However, they treat me very well and are always asking for my advice about keying in logistics data."
She said male forklift operators could be aggressive drivers.
"Sometimes they like to drive at high speed. On the other hand, female forklift operators are calmer in handling the machines," Xue said.
The inaugural forklift challenge saw 15 forklift drivers employed by the LBGA network of companies in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia compete at the Asia Pacific Auction Centre in Malaysia.
Three finalists will represent Asia in the Gypsum Board Manufacturers Australasia (GBMA) forklift competition in Auckland, New Zealand, in October.
Lafarge Boral is a plasterboard joint venture between global building materials companies Boral and Lafarge.
Xue driving a forklift in the competition.