Uber Will Allow Female And Non-Binary Drivers To Refuse Male Passengers In Australia

Ashley Hunte
A woman driving a car.
Unsplash | Jan BaborĂ¡k

When it comes to safety in ride shares, many women and non-binary people have concerns. Namely, the higher chance of being harassed or worse by either a male passenger or driver.

With that in mind, companies like Uber have begun to test out features that would give female and non-binary drivers (and possibly passengers, too) a little more peace of mind.

In Australia, female and non-binary drivers will be able to refuse male passengers.

A car with the Uber logo on a sign on top of the roof.
Unsplash | Viktor Avdeev

The feature, called Woman Rider Preference, launched in Australia this week. It is an optional feature that will make it so that female and non-binary drivers don't have to take male passengers.

It's Uber's way of helping to keep their drivers safe.

A hand holding a phone with a black screen that has the Uber logo on it.
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Emma Foley, Director of Driver and Marketplace for Uber Australia said that this safety feature is especially important for any female or non-binary drivers who may be working in the evening, LADBible reports.

"Women that earn with the Uber app do so because it enables them to be their own boss, earn flexibly around their lifestyle and in some cases, support a side hustle."

The word "hustle" on a mug that's sitting on a desk with a laptop and tablet.
Unsplash | Garrhet Sampson

The risks that may arise when driving with men may be limiting to some of these drivers.

This could help drivers maximize their earning potential.

Two hands counting several $100 bills in US currency.
Unsplash | Alexander Mils

"By providing greater peace of mind with Women Rider Preference, we hope to support women and non-binary driver-partners in amplifying their current earning hours, while unlocking barriers preventing Australian women and non-binary individuals from accessing flexible earnings that support their ambitions," Foley continued.

This feature was, of course, the result of research conducted by Uber.

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Western Weekender writes that, in a survey of 1037 Australian women ages 18-60, an overwhelming majority (8 in 10) were looking to explore new money making opportunities.

But many still found there were barriers that kept them from pursuing certain side hustles.

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Unsplash | Eric Ward

For example, many wanted a side hustle that would complement their day jobs, which makes being an Uber driver a definite possibility (as long as it can be safe).

In any case, the hope of this feature is to see more women in the driver's seat.

A woman driving in a car.
Unsplash | Jenny Ueberberg

Foley further said, "The Uber platform should reflect the diversity of the communities we operate in, including equitable gender representation among the driver-partner base."

As of now, there are a disproportionate amount of male Uber drivers compared to female and/or non-binary drivers.

A group of racially diverse women sitting and laughing on a staircase.
Unsplash | Joel Muniz

"Women currently represent a small portion of driver-partners, but we hope, by supporting women and non-binary individuals in unlocking more earning opportunities, that this will increase over time," Foley said.

But the feature seems pretty promising.

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Unsplash | Jon Tyson

Western Weekender also writes that the Woman Passenger Preference has previously been implemented in Latin American countries such as Mexico, as early as 2020. And the research there shows an increase in woman Uber drivers.

The feature has contributed to over 15 million trips throughout Latin America.

A hand holding a phone that's displaying an Uber driving route.
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

Further, Uber Mexico has seen a 40% increase in active female drivers since the feature's implementation. With any luck, the same kind of diversification will be seen in Australia, too.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!