Accelerating economic opportunities

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HERE’S a newsflash: when more women work, economies grow. This, according to statistics and facts released by the United Nation (UN) women organisation. “An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth.” Simple right? Unfortunately that’s just not how the world works.

Though, we’re in an age of exciting (and exponential) technological advancements—think: next-generation robotics, the transport industry revolutionised by an app (we’re looking at you Uber), 3D printing, and, and—equality between the sexes in the workforce is plodding painfully behind.

Though more women work than ever before, gender inequalities are still persistent in the divvying up of time spent in both paid and unpaid work.

Taking the unpaid work such as, childcare (and eldercare) and housework into consideration, the report states that women in developing countries work more than men ‘with less time for education, leisure, political participation and self-care’. And, that men spend more time on leisure each day.

But it is changing. The digitisation of the labour pool is creating a myriad of non-traditional economic opportunities. Speaking of, Uber has recently publicly committed to partnering with 1,000,000 women drivers around the globe, for the purpose of ‘accelerating economic opportunity for women’.

Comfort, a female Uber partner driver in America says: “I drive because everybody has a story to share. Life is just beautiful. Everyone gets a 5star rating in my car, whether they want to talk or not.”

Comfort started partnering with Uber when her car broke down, and while looking for a new car she thought: “there’s no way I can afford this.” Then, a friend told her about Uber, and how the income would allow her to afford the car.

The next day she bought it and applied to become an Uber partner driver herself. “I’m so grateful for this company. I am now studying to be a nurse.

I love taking care of people, it’s absolutely my passion, and I get to do that now in the car and through my studies.” But it’s not just about the people behind the wheel—but about the minds building and maintaining the app too.

Enter LadyEng, Uber’s women-led engineering group, which was formed to give back to young women by way of visible, tangible role models (through events and job opportunities).

They need examples of strong women thriving in technical fields—and not just one or two, they need dozens, hundreds,” said Martha, a software engineer at Uber and founding member of LadyEng. “They need to hear our stories of success, of failure and of not giving up. We want to show them that it’s worth it–and that they belong.”

In a world of financial uncertainty, one thing’s for sure. From software labs, to boardrooms, and to the highways of the world: women’s economic equality is good for business.

New to Uber ?
Sign up at with the promo code GUARDIANRIDES get two free rides worth N6000.

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