Ride-hailing boost for women: Half a million more to join workforce by 2028

14 December, 2023: India:  Uber, India’s most preferred ride-hailing app, today released a pioneering research report that sheds light on the transformative role of ride-hailing platforms in empowering women and fostering economic opportunities in India. The industry report, titled “Ride-Hailing: A Platform for Women’s Economic Opportunity in India,” unveils a compelling view of how these services are playing a transformative role in bringing more women into the workforce.

The study reflects how ride-hailing services have become a vital vehicle for women to access the workforce or move up the ladder to achieve financial independence and makes projections about how: 

  • Access to mobility could increase female workforce by over 6% by 2028 in India’s top 5 cities
  • With ride-hailing boost to women – over half a million more women will join workforce in these cities
  • This bump up could result in a boost to the size of cities’ economies by over 1%

Appreciating the initiative and focusing on the need for further work in ride hailing sector, Smt. Smriti Irani, Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs said, “It helps that organizations such as Uber recognize or understand better, not only the challenges related to women’s participation in workforce, but the opportunities at the grassroots level. We have 55% of our GDP’s contribution from service sector; there is a lot that is happening at the grassroot, which can get serviced or supported by initiatives such as yours”.

Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India and South Asia said, Greater women’s participation in the workforce is vital for India to realise its economic potential. This research by Oxford Economics highlights how a lack of safe, reliable commuting options are preventing women from working outside the home. I’m heartened to see how Uber and other ride hailing options are helping solve this ‘gender commute gap’ by providing women a safe and convenient option to get to work, whether directly or to their nearest mass transit station. Uber is proud to help Indian women take part in the country’s economic success story – today and in the future.

Bali Kaur Sodhi, Lead Economist, Oxford Economics said, “Women around the world still participate less than men in paid work. The issue is not that women are less educated or less qualified; it largely reflects the fact that women still take the burden of household and care work, especially in emerging markets. This report gives an evidence-based policy recommendation for adoption of technology in helping remove mobility barriers for women to enter the workforce or move up in their careers.

The research report also draws from a survey conducted across five Indian cities. In partnership with Uber, Oxford Economics conducted a survey of Uber riders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the ride-hailing behaviours of women and men across five cities in India—Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. It reveals interesting insights into the impact of ride-hailing on women’s workforce participation:

  • Joining the Workforce: Four out of 10 working women riders agreed that ride-hailing enabled them to join the workforce, helping women overcome some of the key barriers to participation.
  • Work-Family Balance: Half of the working women surveyed felt that ride-hailing was a crucial factor in helping them strike a balance between work and family responsibilities, providing them with the flexibility they needed.
  • Safety as a Priority: A staggering 75% of women who used ride-hailing to commute to work cited safety as a primary reason. This reflects the critical role ride-hailing plays in ensuring safe and secure transportation options for women.
  • Access to Opportunities: One in three working women riders agreed that ride-hailing enabled them to access a wider pool of suitable work opportunities, broadening their horizons and career prospects.

Women in Indian cities have lower labour force participation rates than their global peers. Compared with a worldwide female labour force participation rate of 47% in 2022, the figure for India was just 37%. As per the report, the two biggest challenges to women’s mobility are a lack of access to safe transport and the current imbalance in their work-family arrangements. 

Commissioned by Uber –  Oxford Economics, an independent global advisory firm, has authored the report which illuminates the important subject of women’s participation in the workforce and offers a glimpse into the potential economic benefits to the individuals and the larger economy that can be realized by 2028. To estimate the economic benefits from increasing access to ride-hailing, Oxford Economics was given access to anonymised and aggregated proprietary data from Uber.

To view the full report- Click Here

About Uber: We rode into India in 2013 with a simple promise: press a button, get a ride. 10 years and over 3 billion trips later, we continue to build products to help people get where they need to be. Today, Uber is available across 125 cities in India and has become #IndiaKiRide where people can go where they have to on Moto, Auto, Cars and even Buses – designed for their various intracity and intercity travel needs. With just a swipe on the app we make mobility seamless for millions and have helped over 800,000 Indians earn a sustainable income by getting in the driver’s seat. We continue to reimagine the way the world moves for the better in ever expanding ways and as we mark our ten year milestone – we remain committed to keep India Moving Forward.

About Oxford Economics: Oxford Economics is the world’s foremost independent economic advisory firm. Covering over 200 countries, over 100 industrial sectors and 8,000 cities and regions, we provide insights and solutions that enable clients to make intelligent and responsible business decisions faster in an increasingly complex and uncertain world. For more information, visit https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/ 

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