Women in the driver’s seat: Using technology for women’s economic empowermentWritten by
Today is International Women’s Day, when people around the globe recognize the achievements of women and girls in helping to shape our world. It’s also a day to continue the work of advancing gender equality together.
This year’s United Nations International Women’s Day theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” At Uber, we understand the importance of using technology to meet the needs of women in our communities.
Whether by providing flexible earning opportunities, improving mobility and independence for women, developing innovative safety features or finding ways to help women earn, Uber is actively working to unlock economic opportunities for women globally.
Another way we’re using tech for women’s economic empowerment is through an in-app feature called Women Rider Preference. This feature lets women and nonbinary drivers set a preference for picking up only women riders. Drivers can turn the feature on or off whenever they choose.
We first launched this feature in Saudi Arabia in 2019 to provide an option for women to earn on the Uber app when the country ended a ban on women driving. We’ve expanded this product in response to requests from women drivers globally who want more choice and flexibility regarding their work. The ability to drive only women, especially when it coincides with optimum earning hours (for instance, in the evenings), provides additional peace of mind.
“I have been driving with Uber since 2015,” says Tia, a driver who has completed more than 27,000 trips in Canada, where Women Rider Preference launched last week. “It is the only earning opportunity that has allowed me to support my family while having the time to spend with my kids. Even if you are the main caregiver of your family, this new feature will allow women an opportunity to earn money flexibly when they have the time.”
Today, the Women Rider Preference feature has expanded to 23 countries on five continents. Globally, in the past quarter, four out of 10 women drivers on the Uber platform have used Women Rider Preference at least once, and we’ve seen over 44 million trips using this feature to date.
At Uber, we know there’s more work to do to advance gender equality on our platform and in the communities we serve. We’re working on multiple initiatives, including these:
- Europe: We’re making a €1 million investment in various initiatives geared toward women drivers, including discounted access to vehicles.
- United States: We partnered with Dress for Success to provide career resources to help support women who drive and deliver on the app. Women were also invited to join Dress for Success locally and access the organization’s coaching, networking and professional development services to help advance their careers.
- Global: After the successful launch across EMEA of Uber’s #GigSister program, which connects, grows and supports local communities of women drivers, we plan to expand it internationally in the coming months.
This is just the beginning. We’re committed to doing our part to drive meaningful and economically empowering change for women.
Countries where Women Rider Preference is live
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Saudi Arabia*
- South Africa
*Nonbinary drivers do not have access to Women Rider Preference in Saudi Arabia.