How can Uber woo more women riders and drivers?

How can Uber woo more women riders and drivers?

At the beginning of March, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organization of the World Bank,  released a report “Driving Toward Equality: Women, Ride-Hailing and the Sharing Economy,” which explores both the barriers and opportunities to ensure more women share in the benefits of ridesharing. It highlights the many benefits ridesharing is bringing to women around the world. Among other challenges, it also notes the low percentage of women driving with Uber in major emerging markets and concerns about safety and earnings among women users. This research is the first global report on women and ridesharing informed by  data. It’s based on data provided by Uber, surveys with more than 11,000 drivers and riders, as well as interviews with more than 40 global experts. It was conducted in the following countries;

  • Egypt
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom

  • As the report shows, ridesharing has brought new benefits to women:

    • More independence and freedom of movement
      • Women use ridesharing more frequently (taking 6% more weekly trips on average) and for a broader range of trip purposes than men
      • 24% of women say ridesharing helps them get to areas not served by public transportation
      • 24% of women riders say ridesharing has increased their independence
      • 20% of women say they can travel more thanks to ridesharing
      • 39% of mothers say Uber helps them travel with their children
      • 18% of women use Uber to access health services
      • Women cite safety and security features as a key reason for riding with Uber; for instance, 35% say that knowing a driver’s name and information in advance is important to them (compared to 23% of men).
    • Increased spending power and access to economic opportunity:
      • Ridesharing has allowed women to enter a traditionally male dominated industry
      • 90% of drivers say their additional earnings allow them to buy products and services previously beyond their spending power.
    • Flexibility to work that they didn’t have before:  
      • 74% of women cited flexibility as a key benefit of driving with Uber.

  • However: Ridesharing is impacted by many of the same global, structural barriers that keep women from fully participating in the economy, including social biases, security risks, financial and digital inclusion, and access to vehicles and other assets.

  • Much more work remains to ensure everyone can access the benefits of ridesharing.
    • While women users say they value the safety features, the majority of surveyed women drivers believe other women don’t sign up due to concerns about safety and security.
      • 1 in 10 women drivers overall report aggression from taxi drivers (16% in S. Africa, 18% in UK)
      • 17% of women riders cite concerns about sexual harassment as a barrier to riding with Uber more
    • While Uber recently reached its goal to bring economic opportunity to 1 million women as drivers on Uber, the vast majority of those drivers are in the US. For instance, in East Africa, women driver-partners account for 20% of the drivers who are on the app.
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