Uber, Woman, UN Women, Ride-sharing, App, Taxi

Your cab ride home can now make a difference.

Ride-sharing app Uber has announced they are teaming up with UN Women to transform the male-dominated driver industry for good.

Uber has pledged to create one million jobs for women by 2020, and make more women feel comfortable to get behind the wheel.

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Uber’s communications lead Katie Curran told SHESAID the partnership just made sense. “We’re doing this because we share UN Women’s vision of equality and women’s empowerment,” she said. “The Uber platform makes so much sense as a way to help accomplish this mission.”

While the taxi industry has received criticism for being uninviting to women, Curran says their ride-sharing app is the perfect option for anyone looking for flexible working hours and conditions, be it a working mum or part-time student.

“Over the next five years, we will create one million safe, flexible and equitable earning opportunities for women,” Ms Curran said.

Uber driver Amy says customers are often surprised when she picks them up, but that she doesn’t feel uncomfortable as a female driver. “You don’t pick people up from the street – it’s all logged through the app so they [Uber] know who is in your car,” she told SHESAID.

“The only time I feel uncomfortable is when people sit in the front and don’t talk!”

The move isn’t just a publicity stunt. Ms Curran points out that employing more women is a shrewd business move.

“The International Labour Organization at the UN estimates that 48 per cent of the global productive potential of women remains unutilised – twice as high as the rate among men,” she explains. “This partnership is aimed at helping close that gap.”

The announcement to partner with UN Women comes as Uber tries to gather voter support to loosen government regulations on ride sharing laws in the upcoming Australian state elections.

Whether the rules are loosened or not, Uber is proving to be a game changer that has power well beyond the tech arena. And if our cab ride home helps to economically empower just one women, that’s a ride we’re happy to take.

Image via Good Worldwide Inc