Stories

Celebrating Women in Entrepreneurship

March 9, 2017 / Kuala Lumpur

Uber Malaysia celebrated International Women’s Day with some of its female driver-partners on 7 March 2017, in a casual, intimate evening at Hello Deer, Uptown Damansara.

We wanted to celebrate the presence of female driver-partners on the network and their contribution to the economy and culture at large. The event featured guest speakers, Katrina Taib and Lin Tan, founders of Aloha Cycle and Rubberduck Café, and Daisy Ng, founder of Trinity Kids Malaysia, sharing their journey as women entrepeneurs.

This year’s global theme is #BeBoldForChange, and some very bold women shared what inspired them to take that step in becoming Uber driver-partners.

Vyonna Dewi, said that she decided to drive with Uber to fund her own education degree. “My financial situation at home was tough, and my mother could not afford to help me with the tuition fees, hence I had to find my own income. I heard about Uber and decided to sign up as a driver. At the Uber PSC, there was a guy who helped me sign up. He was an Uber driver, too,” she said. It did not stop there, Vyonna said. They became close and eventually found love with each other; they are soon to be engaged. “If I didn’t discover Uber and decide to become a driver-partner, I would not have met my life partner. I’ve managed to pay off for my education, and things are much better off now. I’m really happy and grateful,” she added.

Vyonna sharing her story with Uber women driver-partners

Vyonna’s account was not the only feel-good story of the evening. Zaiton Alwi, 57, a former musician who is now a driver-partner with Uber, expressed her excitement in being a driver. “I’m not deterred by my age. In fact, meeting new people while driving keeps me young at heart,” she quipped. A part-time driver-partner since August 2016, Zaiton said that it’s a great way to earn, and anyone with a car can do it. “Even though I’m a retiree and my kids are grown up, I still wanted to make use of my time well and I found that driving with Uber was just the right fit. It’s not so much about the money, even though for me that’s a plus point, but the flexibility to do it whenever I want to, and earn from that, is the reason why I chose to drive with Uber,” she added.

Another female driver-partner, Thilagavathy Balakrishnan, 38, shared the same sentiment as Zaiton. “Driving with Uber allows me the flexibility of earning. Both my husband and I are Uber driver-partners, and we take turns to drive between day and night, and care for our three children,” she said. Balancing the hours between her role as wife and mother, and also trying to earn using Uber can be challenging at times, Thilagavathy said, but not impossible.

“I decided to drive to assist my husband with the household finances. With the flexibility that he enjoyed, I thought to myself, ‘Why not give it a try, too?’ Now, we both can manage and balance our time between taking care of our household, children and making a living, thanks to this opportunity by Uber,” she said.

It was an evening to remember, as the women continued sharing their unique experiences with each other. Zaiton concluded, “I’ve always believed that a woman should be independent. It’s empowering to know that Uber supports this too by providing equal opportunities for all, especially women, to become part of the driver-partner community.”