Uber is an American transport company. It has also developed a mobile application with the same name. In the US Uber has stated its activity six years ago. Ever since then it has gathered 160,000 active drivers, only 14% of them being women. The company has up to 90.000 drivers in the 55 countries where it has expanded.
According to an announcement from Tuesday Uber is planning to double its growth in the next five years, suggesting that 50% of the drivers could be women. With UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) as a partner, the company said that 1 million jobs will be created for women. The aim is to promote gender equality. The alliance of the two companies also coincides with the anniversary of 20 years of the Beijing Declaration, an important statement on women’s rights.
The first thing to do in order to achieve their goal is to develop a plan of action that will persuade women to want to work for them. Salle Yoo, general counsel of Uber, said for USA Today that in the next few weeks, together with UN Women, they will try to find the most effective way to do this. She also mentioned that the partnership with UN Women will be discussed on Tuesday evening with members of the Gates Foundation (Melinda Gates, Bill de Blasio and Hillary Clinton).
Uber has a reputation for being part of some scandals. A while ago in India, a passenger was raped by one of their drivers. Moreover, the driver also denigrated the company’s application. Cases of rape have also been reported in Chicago and Boston. Now Uber is trying to redeem itself. A reason why the company has chosen to offer jobs precisely for women is because of the rape scandals. Having women drivers would make the passengers feel more safe and secure.
Salle Yoo gave some reasons to why a job as a driver at Uber would appeal to women. She said that there is no schedule or minimum hours required. You are allowed to manage your own time. This would be a great thing for women because they will be able to find time both for family and for work.
Although women customers do not have the option of requesting women drivers, the newly improved safety measures seem to weigh a lot. The company has now provided their cars with an SOS button. Passengers can use it and call the police in case of emergency. In addition, the Uber mobile application has been improved. The application now includes cashless transactions and more importantly it can track down the dirvers and users. Yoo emphasized that safety is the company’s main priority