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Uber wants to create one-million new jobs for women globally on its platform by 2020.
The ride-hailing startup announced the initiative as part of a partnership be between it and the UN Women organisation aimed at moving toward a shared vision of equality and women’s empowerment.
The announcement comes on the 20th anniversary of the of the Beijing Declaration, in which world leaders gathered in Beijing to produce a plan for advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women everywhere.
The goal is ambitious but this is Uber, a company that knows no bounds, and has in the past proven to be quite the beast it sets itself out to be.
Currently Uber operates in 55 countries. In almost every country it has entered, it has run into problems over regulatory issues and has lately run into problems over allegations against its male drivers yet Uber has charged ahead and does not appear to be slowing down.
It is not clear in which cities these jobs will be created and in what ratio but it is nonetheless great news, both for Uber and gender balance in job creation. Uber and UN women have promised to release more details about the initiative. As things stand now, in most countries women cab and taxi drivers are scarce and often face intimidation.
Uber works for drivers because of its flexibility. One does not have to drive when it is time to pick up their kid from school unlike if one was working for a traditional taxi cab service. It is precisely for this reason that Uber might work better for women because it allows them to work around their commitments. Of course this benefits men too.
Speaking to Reuters, Salle Yoo, Uber general counsel, highlighted the advantages of being a female Uber drive. The company, she said, “does not require (minimum) hours, and it does not require a schedule. It offers the chance to be entrepreneurial, the chance to balance work and family.”
The company has also released a video pitched at female Uber drivers.
In the joint statement, UN Women pointed out that its mission of economic empowerment can only be achieved when all women have direct access to safe and equitable earning opportunities.
“We look forward to a partnership where UN Women and Uber will drive more access to these types of opportunities around the world,” the statement reads.