Female Drivers and Masaruky: Uber’s Pledge for Women

February 27, 2018 / Saudi Arabia

Through the Masaruky initiative, Uber are going above and beyond to ensure that when the time comes, women will be able to join as driver-partners with knowledge, skill, and comfort.

There are some major changes ahead as we prepare to welcome our very first female driver-partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Uber, starting with a 1 million SAR pledge as part of our Masaruky initiative.

The new development, which emerged upon the announcement of Vision 2030, will undoubtedly establish new economic and social opportunities for women, while also having an important impact on the economy for all Saudis.

Of course, it’s not as simple as the ban being lifted and women immediately being able to join the Uber app as driver-partners – a lot of questions have been raised regarding the transition phase, with concerns surrounding the licensing process, access to vehicles, and safety procedures. At Uber, we want to make the transition as seamless as possible, and that’s why we’re so proud to be launching Masaruky, a new two-year initiative dedicated to products, projects, partnerships and programs surrounding the mobilization of women in Saudi Arabia.

What is Masaruky?

Over the next two years, we hope to strengthen women’s presence in the workforce by providing access to affordable transportation and creating new economic opportunities through the Uber app.

Announcing the groundbreaking 1 million SAR pledge, Uber regional general manager Anthony Khoury explained, “This will help us in further supporting women towards achieving their economic ambitions and goals, because not only do we enable more convenient ways to move around cities – but we also strive to drive change that is positive, meaningful and economically empowering.”

Currently, there are 1.3 million women working in the Saudi workplace – totalling 22% of the population’s workforce. Through the new initiative, the government expect to see this number increase to 30% by 2030.

Earlier this year we initiated Listening Sessions in Riyadh, to create an informative, open, and structured environment for both ourselves and the public to gain a complete understanding of the procedures and implications surrounding the change. We heard every question and concern, and, alongside months of research, formed a strategy to address them.

We are working with a number of government stakeholders and third parties to reach more women seeking access to driving schools, and provide everybody with the necessary resources to ensure a smooth transition. There are a number of women who would not otherwise have access to the correct training, and bridging this gap is a crucial step we’re taking. As we continue to build partnerships with a number of government and private entities, we can already confirm that Princess Noura University will be the first university to offer driving lessons for women.

The Future

The Masaruky initiative not only looks to encourage women to join the Uber app as driver-partners, but also reinforces the benefits of using the Uber app as a rider. Since Uber launched in Saudi Arabia, we have already provided millions of women with accessible transport, and now we’re expanding this further by welcoming women as driver-partners.

We aim to be a trusted voice on the topic of women driving – a resource that anybody who has any concerns can come to and get answers. Through the Masaruky initiative, we’re ensuring a smooth and comfortable shift for women moving from the passenger seat to the driver’s.

We will be launching an official website with all of the details on Masaruky and the introduction of female driver-partners to Uber. We look forward to working together through this transition, and we’re excited about a future where women can join the Uber app and benefit from the same flexibility and economic opportunities enjoyed by driver-partners across the globe.