Uber joins with UN Women to enlist 1 million women drivers by 2020
Tue 10 Mar 2015
Global ride-hailing app Uber has promised to put one million women behind the wheel, announcing today that it would create the new positions for female drivers over the next five years.
The pledge from Uber was posted to its website today, with a statement from CEO Travis Kalanick and executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka:
“Today, UN Women and Uber are launching a partnership to work together around the world toward a shared vision of equality and women’s empowerment.
We intend to invest in long-term programs in local communities where we live and work, as Uber commits to creating 1,000,000 jobs for women globally on the Uber platform by 2020.”
Currently, only 14% of Uber’s 160,000 U.S. drivers are women. The company has now decided to act and create “direct access to safe and equitable earning opportunities.”
This move comes amid much controversy surrounding the safety of Uber’s female passengers. Last year, an Uber driver was accused of raping a woman using the service in New Delhi. Demand is also rising for female-only taxi services –SheRides in New York allows passengers to use an app to request female drivers.
However, Uber has said that its passengers will not be able to specifically request a woman driver.
A promotional video on Uber’s website shows a number of women drivers heralding the service as an opportunity which allows flexibility and independence. A female employee in Bogotá, Colombia, claims that she feels less at risk driving for Uber, as it is a cash-free service.
Although no specific plans have been unveiled, Salle Yoo, Uber general counsel confirmed that discussions with UN Women would be taking place over the next couple of weeks to decide on a precise action plan to accomplish their mutual goals.
“Safety is the number-one priority for Uber,” said Yoo. “We continue to learn and evolve […] women drivers bring a lot of real life experience. As a company, [listening to women is] where we should start.”