A partnership between the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and Uber marks the launch of the ride-hire service’s worldwide effort to find more women drivers.
The YWCA and Uber announced on Tuesday their Drive to Thrive program, which looks to employ 5,000 women drivers in Chicago by the end of 2015. Uber, the mobile app for ride-hailing, has been in Chicago since 2011 and counts 2 million rides each month in the city.
Brooke Anderson, a representative for Uber, said the demand for more drivers is growing, but the two companies wanted to focus specifically on bringing more women on board.
“With Uber, women and men earn the same fares,” Anderson said. “It’s a great opportunity to work flexible hours.”
By 2020, the company wants to hire 1 million women worldwide.
There are currently 15,000 drivers in Chicago, about 20 percent are women. The partnership also offers a number of free Uber rides for women involved in YWCA economic empowerment programs so they can go to and from job interviews, Anderson said.
Dorri McWhorter, CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, said as an organization they focus on economic stability and with the Uber app they can better teach the women they work with how to manage their own small business.
“We’ve been focusing on them earning money,” McWhorter said. “Through these types of platforms they can do that with paid equity. We can’t say that across other professions.”
Throughout the year, the YWCA will sponsor recruitment events at job fairs across the city to reach their mark.