1. Saudi Arabia (where women can. Now drive) is a major investor in Uber. Last year, Uber partnered with a nonprofit, Al Nahda, to help Uber identify underprivileged women who are interested in learning how to drive and obtaining a license, but may not have resources to do so.
2. Uber pledged SAR 1 million to increase women’s participation in the Saudi workforce through access to affordable transportation, in addition to increasing women’s access to flexible, part-time economic opportunities through the use of Uber technology. https://www.uber.com/en-SA/newsroom/uber-al-nahda-society-sign-mou-provide-women-access-driving/ …
3. Just three years ago, critics were lambasting Uber for taking Saudi investments - little did such critics realize how Uber can be leveraged to power social change in Saudi Arabia (and in other conservative, male-dominated societies around the world).
4. Lifting the ban on women driving is part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan to accelerate economic development, one aspect of which is increasing women's participation in theworkforce from 22% to 30%. More than 50% of Saudi women are college grads.
5. So in just three years we went from “women can’t drive in Saudi Arabia” to “women can not only drive in Saudi Arabia but they can choose to drive for Uber AND choose to only Uber for other women” (which 74% of Saudi women polled said they’d prefer)!
6. In his 1999 book, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization” Thomas Friedman said “No two countries that have a Mcdonald’s would go to war with each other” - that can now be said of Uber - “No two countries that have Uber would go to war with each other”
One of the best things tech companies do: Share their tools and knowledge with others. For example, Google open-sourced Kubernetes; LinkedIn donated Kafka; both now used by so many companies. Here’s Uber sharing their GPU-powered analytics engine, AresDB. https://eng.uber.com/aresdb/
When politicians and journalists criticize tech companies they often overlook how many tech companies donate countless valuable tools and knowledge that they had spent tens of thousands of hours building, honing and gathering - for anyone to use and apply. https://eng.uber.com/applied-behavioral-science-at-scale/ …
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