Women Ride-Hailing Drivers Contribute 40% of Family Income, DiDi China Reports in a Women Drivers’ Survey
Over 46% of women ride-hailing drivers are over 40 years old; 21% are single moms
Flexibility, extra income and autonomy are the most cited reasons for women to become DiDi drivers
60% of women drivers still feel gender bias in their daily work despite there being no major difference in pay between male and female drivers
(Beijing, March 9, 2020) – Ride-hailing helps women break through traditional employment constraints and gain economic independence in a broader parameter of life, but also brings them face to face with entrenched gender bias. On March 8, DiDi China shared insights from a recent survey conducted with its female drivers.
Ride-hailing is the main source of income for women ride-hailing drivers and their families.
– Over 300,000 women earned an income driving on DiDi in 2019. On average, ride-hailing accounts for 40% of their total family income.
– 32% of women drivers are the sole breadwinner of the family, while 18% of women drivers reported that 80% of their total family income comes from them being a DiDi driver.
– Full-time women drivers for DiDi earned an average income of RMB 9,600 (US$1,385) per month in 2019 and 8.1% of women drivers earn a monthly income exceeding RMB 10,000 (US$1,431).
– While the general gender pay gap in China is 25%, there is no major difference in income range between male and female DiDi drivers.
– Less developed inland regions, including Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu, have considerably higher percentage of women drivers.
Women drivers are also the main caregivers and homemakers for their families.
– 30% of DiDi’s women drivers need to raise two or more children; 21% are single moms. 68% of the drivers need to help take care of two or more elderly relatives.
– On average, women drivers devote 40 hours a week on household work, and over 70% of women drivers spend most of their ‘free’ time as caregivers or homemakers, which is 23% more in comparison to male drivers.
Ride-hailing provides a flexible work option for women from diverse lifestyle and career backgrounds.
– Flexibility is the most cited reason (70%) for women to become DiDi drivers. Nearly 40% of women drivers have full-time salary jobs, while 25% run their own SME businesses. 20% are full-time homemakers.
– In addition, 39% of women drivers have other part-time work outside ride-hailing. 11% run an e-commerce business on the side. A small number of women drivers also work as part-time teachers or couriers.
– Other appeals of the work include extra income (67%), fun and autonomy, and broadening one’s social circle.
Driving for shared mobility helps women breakthrough still entrenched patterns of employment discrimination. However, there is still a long way to go for us to nurture an inclusive and fair culture for women on the road.
– The average age of DiDi women drivers is 39 years old, 2 years older than male drivers. Over 46% of women drivers are over 40 years old compared to 35% of male drivers.
– Although China has one of the world’s highest full-time employment rates for women (89%), 60% of women drivers feel passengers often doubt their driving skills because of their gender. 50% of women drivers believe that ride-hailing is still considered a man’s job in the public eye.
Still, taking control of their own work and life plans make a difference. 53% of women said that the economic independence brought by being a DiDi driver has increased their self-confidence. Over 80% of women drivers in China said that they are “confident and optimistic” about their future work and life; 62% are “very confident”. They are also exploring a more active social role through their work—77% of women drivers expressed their desire to join the special fleets for medical workers or citizens that DiDi organized in select cities during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have come a long way and we have only just started.