Uber, the ride-sharing service that’s been forced to address multiple incidents of drivers harassing or assaulting female passengers, pledged Tuesday to create jobs for 1 million women in the next five years.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the United Nations’ UN Women group, on the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration, with which world leaders meeting in that city set forth a plan for empowering women worldwide.
“We intend to invest in long-term programs in local communities where we live and work, as Uber commits to creating 1,000,000 jobs for women globally on the Uber platform by 2020,” read a joint statement from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
“This important mission can only be accomplished when all women have direct access to safe and equitable earning opportunities,” the statement continues. “We look forward to a partnership where UN Women and Uber will drive more access to these types of opportunities around the world.”
A video accompanying the statement profiles female Uber drivers in London; Nairobi, Kenya; and Bogota, Colombia. In it, the women mention Uber’s cash-free payment system and app that allows drivers to identify prospective riders as important safety factors.
Uber has not publicly stated the number of female drivers it currently has. But in a Reuters report Tuesday, the company said that about 14% of its 160,000 drivers in the United States are women.
In recent months, there have been a handful of reports of male Uber drivers mistreating female passengers. A woman in New Delhi, India, said in December that her Uber driver had raped her. That led to a temporary shutdown of the service in that city.
Uber screens and performs background checks on its drivers. They are not hired as full employees, but instead contract to find and give rides to passengers through the company’s mobile app in exchange for a percentage of the fare.
Image via iStock.