Women drivers start work for Careem in Saudi Arabia

Three city launch; currently around 70% of Careem’s passengers in the Kingdom are female

Careem has revealed its new fleet of female drivers following the lifting of their driving ban in Saudi Arabia.

Careem said the drivers – called Captainahs – have begun working this week “as part of the company’s ongoing mission to simplify and improve lies in the region”. The service has started in the three major cities of Saudi Arabia – Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam – in a first phase which is expected to be expanded to include all cities “within a short period.”

“We are delighted to welcome these pioneering women to Careem and in line with Careem’s commitment to create job opportunities across the wider Middle East region, 2018 will see a new focus begin on attracting women to sign up to the platform,” said Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikha, adding that Careem is creating between 60,000-to-70,000 jobs per month across all cities of operation, “We’ve set a longer-term target of having 20,000 females signed up regionwide by 2020.”

“Following the announcement in Saudi Arabia in September 2017 that women would soon be allowed to drive, we opened our door to female Captains (Captainahs) and invited them to come and sign up to Careem and receive the initial training,” said Careem’s GM of Saudi Arabia, Abdulla Elyas. “We have been overwhelmed by the response, with some 2,000 women already having taken part in sessions from our operational, safety and technology teams.”

Abdulla added that driving for a ride-hailing company provides the chance for women drivers to be their own boss, earn an additional income and work their own hours, “so it’s particularly geared towards the needs of working mothers. To date, Careem has welcomed women in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan and the UAE and registered some 2,000 women in Saudi Arabia ahead of the decree coming into effect – we are thrilled to welcome new Captainahs to our Saudi fleet.”

In a statement introducing its fleet of female drivers, Careem said it “recognises that up until now, the industy has largely ignored women and the potential they might have to earn an income through our platform. It’s been a wake-up call and we are now investing our time and focus into deep diving into this issue. This year Careem set up a Women’s Female Captain Committee to tackle this issue and better understand what barriers might exist for a woman wanting to come and drive for us, and to understand what it takes for us to provide a conducive environment for them to flourish. Currently around 70% of Careem’s passengers in the Kingdom are female, and Careem has been particularly beneficial for females who did not have safe and reliable transport before the introduction of the service in Saudi Arabia. People in Saudi have referred to there being a time before, and a time after Careem, so great has the impact been in enabling women to move around the country without the need to be driven by a male family member.”


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