Women in Saudi Arabia legally took to the streets behind the wheel for the first time on June 24th, 2018, marking a historic occasion for the residents of the Kingdom.
While the women drivers were greeted with cheer and flowers to the roads, transportation based businesses too are taking steps to accommodate this new drive to change.
Ride-hailing applications Uber and Careem have announced that in light of the lifting of the driving ban for women, they will begin preparations and training for women drivers to join their workforce as "captains" or rather "captain-ahs" (the Arabic rendering of the word captain).
Uber plans to test a feature which will provide women with a preference to be connected to women riders. This feature is expected to be unveiled in the fall in Saudi Arabia.
"We are honored to play a part in this historic moment for women in Saudi Arabia," says Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, VP & Head of Operations for Uber EMEA. "By empowering female entrepreneurs, Uber is proud to provide the same economic opportunities currently enjoyed by male drivers across the Kingdom. We have partnered with Saudi women to explore how Uber can work for them, and we will continue listening as we build the future of urban mobility in Saudi Arabia together."
Alternative ride-hailing app Careem has already begun implementing inclusion among its workforce. Starting June 24th, women captains can begin working in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam during the first phase. It is estimated that Careem is creating between 60,000-to-70,000 jobs in those cities and plan on having 20,000 females signed up in the region by 2020.
“We are delighted to welcome these pioneering women to Careem and in line with Careem’s commitment to create job opportunities across the wider Middle East region," said Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikha. "2018 will see a new focus begin on attracting women to sign up to the platform.”