In a bid to address the gender gap in the ride-hailing industry, BOLT, a leading ride-hailing platform, has announced a €2.5 million investment to encourage more women to become drivers. The company recognizes that women are under-represented in the industry, depriving them of a flexible way to earn extra income. To tackle this issue head-on, BOLT has taken steps to understand the obstacles faced by women and has introduced incentives and safety features to address their concerns.
In 2022, BOLT intensified its efforts to promote gender equality by conducting regular roundtable discussions with its women drivers worldwide. These discussions provided valuable insights into the challenges and preferences of women in the industry. BOLT worked closely with its women drivers to develop thoughtful features and benefits to support them. These initiatives are now part of the company’s ‘Women at the Wheel’ campaign, which aims to bridge the gender gap in ride-hailing, alongside the €2.5 million investment.
To better understand the factors that deter women from considering driving as a profession, BOLT conducted a survey in March 2023. The survey involved 2,000 women in Europe and Africa who had never been drivers. The results revealed that only 7.2% of the respondents had considered driving as a means of earning money. Surprisingly, even during times of economic hardship, women remained hesitant to become drivers. The survey found that 89% of women reported an increase in living costs, and 93% actively sought new income sources.
One of the main reasons cited by women for not considering driving was the perception that it is a predominantly male profession. About 25% of the respondents stated that they had not explored driving as a career due to their gender, while 15% lacked the confidence to drive professionally. BOLT aims to challenge these outdated stereotypes through its ‘Women at the Wheel’ campaign, providing motivation and support to break these barriers.
Safety is another crucial concern highlighted by the survey. Approximately 23.3% of the women expressed apprehensions regarding their safety. BOLT reassures everyone that safety remains a top priority for both riders and drivers on their platform. The company has introduced several features in the in-app Safety Toolkit to ensure drivers feel secure. These include a driver trip-sharing feature, allowing drivers to share their location in real-time with friends or family. BOLT also actively manages riders, blocking customers who display inappropriate behavior and consistently receive low ratings.
Additionally, BOLT is gradually rolling out the ‘Women for Women’ category, which enables female drivers to exclusively pick up female riders for added safety and convenience.
To support women drivers, BOLT is investing €2.5 million in various initiatives as part of the ‘Women at the Wheel’ campaign. The company is raising awareness through video interviews with established female drivers and partnering with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that advocate for women’s rights and female drivers. BOLT has also developed new safety features and will subsidize licensing costs to make it easier for women to enter the profession. Depending on the country, additional incentives such as specialized driving courses, earnings bonuses, or the option to join a fleet without a personal vehicle are offered.
Becoming a BOLT driver provides numerous benefits in addition to the mentioned incentives. With a quick sign-up and onboarding process, drivers can start earning in no time. BOLT offers weekly payouts, flexible scheduling, and the opportunity to earn extra during peak hours and through bonuses. Furthermore, driving for BOLT is financially risk-free, as there are no hidden fees or minimum hours, and drivers only pay a commission on completed rides.