Regional ride-hailing app Careem is aiming to recruit more female captions, or drivers, to make up a total of 20,000 by 2020.
So far, the company has 500,000 captains signed up across 100 cities in the Middle East.
Careem has female captains in the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, and Palestine.
Pakistan, where social norms associate driving jobs with men, leads the female fleet in numbers and sees female captains sign up to drive bikes and rickshaws as well as cars.
The firm was also quick to register over 2,000 women across Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam following Saudi Arabia’s historic announcement in September 2017 that women would be allowed to drive.
Moreover, it launched a female-only call centre that is already operational in Jeddah, and is looking to open a female-only training centre in the Kingdom later this year. It will feature specialised training materials and women coaches.
Careem’s announcement will see the firm launch the Women Captains Committee, which will create tailored programmes for female drivers to attract and retain them. It will also address mothers wishing to register on the platform by providing flexible work environments.
CEO and co-founder Mudassir Sheikha said the company has predominantly focused its efforts on attracting and catering to male captains.
“It’s time for us and the entire industry to wake up. Not only is there a moral obligation to do so, but there’s also a huge opportunity to grow our business around women and give them the economic opportunity to excel. Women are often the primary breadwinners and looking for alternative, flexible ways to support their families,” he said.
He added that the company will invest and adapt the business in order to create rewarding income opportunities for them.
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