In March 2018, we announced ‘Masaruky’ (“your path” in Arabic) – a framework of several initiatives that launched with a SAR 1 million pledge which aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part time economic opportunities through the use of Uber technology.
The initiative was a proactive response to the government announcement in September 2017 that women would be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Late last year, we began to conduct regular female listening sessions. the first of which was led by our global CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Discussions have focused largely on Saudi women’s economic and mobility needs, as well as Uber’s priorities and upcoming plans for women in the Kingdom, and the sessions have proven crucial for both participating women and Uber, giving women in attendance the chance to learn about both the process and economic impact that Uber can have on their lives.
Masaruky also followed months of research, in collaboration with market research consultancy Ipsos. These studies found that 93% of Saudi women were positive about the decision to lift the driving ban, mostly because it will allow them more flexibility to work. 78% said they are likely to get a driving license post ban removal, and almost a third (31%) of those surveyed, indicated that they were interested in driving as an earnings opportunity. An efficient way to make some extra disposable income and flexible hours were cited as some of the top reasons driving could be an earnings opportunity for women on Uber.
Since launching Masaruky, we have coordinated with a number of entities on partnerships and programs which will contribute to the economic empowerment of women in the Kingdom. These include our partnerships with Al Nahda, a non-profit women’s society, in addition to our dedicated Women Support Center and upcoming collaborations with a number of government institutions across the Kingdom.
Al Nahda Partnership
In the months since announcing Masaruky, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Al Nahda, a non-profit women’s society to work together towards empowering more women to drive through identifying underprivileged women who are interested in learning how to drive and obtaining a license, but may not have the resources to do so. Learn more here
Dedicated Women Support Center
Uber is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a dedicated women’s support center in Riyadh – a one-stop shop where we will partner with the necessary stakeholders to facilitate the paperwork, training and access to vehicles, including being able to access a driving school run by third party government partners.
Looking into the Future..
We’re proud to have been able to provide extraordinary mobility and look forward to continuing to support Saudi Arabia’s economic and social reforms, and welcoming our first Saudi female partner driver on the app this year. We look forward to welcoming you on our exciting journey.