Women In The Driver's Seat: inDrive Aims To Boost Female Participation In E-Hailing


South Africa's unemployment rate climbed to 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting a rise of 0.8 percentage points. Women, particularly vulnerable in the job market, continue to face higher unemployment.



With limited job opportunities, entrepreneurship has become an increasingly attractive path, with 87.9% of women choosing to become entrepreneurs due to job scarcity. One promising sector with potential for women is the e-hailing industry, which is currently dominated by men.

This is according to Vincent Lelani, Business Development Representative for leading global mobility and urban services platform inDrive in South Africa. “Only 1% of drivers using the local platform are female. Recognising the need for diversity, we are aiming to increase this figure to 3-5% in the next few years.” 

To achieve this, we will collaborate closely with women from local communities, encouraging them to join as drivers. We are also planning various initiatives to promote the platform as a means for women with drivers’ licenses to earn an income

He explains that the app allows people to work flexibly, scheduling their shifts according to their preferences. “So, if you’re a student working to finance your studies; a parent needing flexible hours; or someone wanting to supplement their primary job with additional income, you can work around these commitments.” 

“Secondly, it allows driver-partners to choose the jobs that suit them; they’re not penalised for refusing jobs. So, a driver can select jobs according to the price offered, the route, and a passenger’s previous ratings and reviews. This puts the power in their hands – they know who their passenger will be before accepting a job which is critical for their safety,” Lelani points out.  

When it comes to bolstering women entrepreneurs, inDrive launched the Aurora Tech Award to recognise and amplify the achievements of female founders of successful startups, encouraging more women to enter the field.

This forms part of our broader mission to tackle social injustice and improve the lives of people in the communities in which we operate

“Our commitment to gender diversity and safety marks a significant step towards a more inclusive ride-hailing landscape. By amplifying opportunities for women drivers, the company not only enhances economic empowerment, but also elevates safety standards. With a strategic vision centred on inclusivity and empowerment, we are poised to redefine industry norms, fostering an environment where choice, safety, and opportunity intersect for all,” Lelani concludes.  

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