Uber management has been working hard lately to overcome the slew of bad PR on topics ranging from regulatory problems to Taxicab driver protests to Uber drivers committing crimes against their clients. The online ride-sharing firm’s latest salvo in the PR wars is a press release on Tuesday highlighting that the company plans to create one million new jobs for women over the next five years.
Statement from CEO Travis Kalanick
“This important mission can only be accomplished when all women have direct access to safe and equitable earning opportunities,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka commented in a joint statement on Tuesday. “We look forward to a partnership where UN Women and Uber will drive more access to these types of opportunities around the world.”
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Followup statement from Uber spokesperson
In a follow up email message to the Huffington Post, an Uber spokesperson noted: “Driving on the Uber platform allows women to set their own schedules. With Uber, there is no gender-based wage gap: men and women earn equally on the platform.”
The Huff Post article also highlights a new promotional video on Uber’s website in which female Uber drivers tout the job as giving them flexibility and independence. An Uber driver in Bogotá, Colombia noted she feels safe working as a driver because there’s no cash involved.
Women drivers for women passengers
Of note, currently only around 14% of Uber’s 160,000 U.S.-based drivers are female.
On the issue of the safety of women, an Uber driver was accused of raping a female passenger in New Delhi in late 2014.
Also of interest, companies have sprung up recently in a number of locales across the globe to satisfy the rapidly growing demand from women passengers for women drivers. In the Big Apple, where almost 99% of taxi drivers are male, a new app called SheRides lets passengers of any gender request a female driver.