Women Ride-Hailing Drivers Contribute 40% of Family Income, DiDi China Reports in a Women Drivers’ Survey

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.[1] – 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.

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