DiDi Women: Empowering Women and Combatting Discrimination through Technology and Mobility Platforms
Helps female drivers feel safer. DiDi Tracks female user concerns through surveys. With this data DiDi developed “DiDi Women” to connect female drivers and passengers and improve their safety perception. Corrects inequalities with special economic incentives for female drivers to account for differences in behaviour, allowing them to generate additional flexible income. Raises awareness on discrimination by sharing content by its public and private expert partners through the app.
The key objective is to double the share of female drivers on the platform, increasing women’s economic and social empowerment in the technology and mobility spheres, while contributing to leaving no one behind by eradicating biases in product design. It aims to reduce gender inequalities in the platform’s design by becoming the first ride-hailing company with an institutionalized and holistic gender program. Specific insights on women’s concerns are incorporated into the platform’s operations. Empower women by creating safe and equal flexible income opportunities by adapting financial incentives and operational processes to the specific needs of female drivers and increasing safety perception for female drivers. Break discrimination and violence cycles via discrimination prevention protocols, community engagement, and communication.
Goal 5.1: By using its app to communicate antidiscrimination materials, contributes to ending all forms of discrimination among its community. Goal 5.b: The practice uses information and communication technologies to enable women to generate a flexible income, through the use of DiDi app, which then leads to their economic and social empowerment. Goal 10.2 & 10.3: By integrating the gender dimension into operational processes, the practice promotes and empowers the economic inclusion of women and ensures equal flexible income opportunities for women and reduces inequalities of outcome.
Inclusive planning process: a)Hard and survey data to define gender features and programs. Female drivers tend to disconnect earlier in the day than men. They also feel safer during the day (86%) and picking up a woman (73%), and they find in technology a solution to achieve gender parity (76%) and safer trips (68%). b)Design of a holistic program thanks to the consultations of female drivers and inputs from gender experts. Execution: c)Based on Randomized Control Trials (RCTs), product features and operational processes were tailored to the needs of female drivers. d)Product feature which allows female drivers to only receive trip requests from female passengers was tested in eight pilot cities and later rolled out nationally. e)Artificial intelligence (AI) was used for facial validation to avoid fraud and increase the safety of female drivers. f)Awareness campaigns in the DiDi Community via discrimination prevention protocols and manuals validated by qualified partners to mitigate possible discrimination against transgender and intersex persons. Data-based monitoring and improvement: g)The program was implemented using the AGILE Method, an iterative process to guarantee continuous improvement based on our monitoring metrics and lessons learned. h)Safety metrics: safety and sexual incidents per million trips and safety perception of female drivers and passengers. i)Business metrics: share of female drivers in the total driver universe, flexible income generated by female drivers through the use of DiDi app and conversion rates of female drivers. j)Perception metrics: female driver safety perception rating (out of 10) and focus groups. Resources include 5 full-time employees for four months, global technological know-how from engineers in 3 countries to develop and communicate the feature.
Results: One product feature that led to: a)The number of female driver registrations increased by 28%. b)The number of hours driven by female drivers increased by 16%. c)Female users have made over 18,000 trips with DiDi Women. d)Female drivers equal 4.8% up from 4.2%. 3 government and 2 NGO alliances resulting in 3 awareness campaigns and 1 protocol. Internally, gender perspective is now part of daily practices and a Diversity & Inclusion Program was launched. Externally, the practice generated public attention. The feature announcement reached 382 million people via 136 international articles and 94 local publications. With government allies, capacity-building initiatives for drivers in Jalisco proved high interest levels in gender-equality courses. Gender perspective highlighted the need to include girls in the technology world and DiDi has held 4 conferences on women in data science aimed at university students and will launch a data science course aimed at teenage girls in Mexico.
Enablers: a)High-level sponsorship within the organization to place the initiative as a priority in the agenda and free resources. b)Technological know-how. c)Team-work and cross-departmental collaboration. Constraints: a)The complex and evolving nature of challenges faced by women, which requires continuous monitoring and new responses. b)The financial and human resources needed to advance and take the initiative even further. c)Using the platform in an innovative way to reach the community.
Sustainability: the empowerment efforts led by DiDi are: a)Financially sustainable: Initiatives are not part of a social responsibility program, but a core element of how DiDi does business - giving more opportunities for women is a win-win for society and DiDi. b)Institutionalized: All departments across the organizations have worked together to make DiDi Women possible and they have integrated it as part of business as usual (e.g. sex-dissagregated data on analysis). Replicability: DiDi´s efforts towards equality happen locally but they are prioritized globally.All countries where DiDi operates have begun developing similar initiatives (Colombia, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand). This is possible due to coordination efforts among developers in headquarters and project managers in each territory. I.e. Australia has launched “40:40:20”, a campaign to promote the inclusion of more female drivers (the objective is that at least 40% of drivers are female and 40% are male drivers).
COVID-19 contributed to higher rates of gender violence and economic instability in Mexico, resulting in greater urgency in reducing discrimination, listen to women’s concerns and increase women’s economic inclusion. DiDi incorporated communications of emergency numbers to female drivers to help them in case of domestic violence. DiDi International: a)6.5 million discounted trips for health personnel. b)+ 6.5 million masks, 54 thousand disinfectant kits and plastic barriers. c)International Support Fund of 10 million dollars to support drivers & couriers. d)10 million dollars for vaccination. DiDi Mexico: a)More than 250 million pesos. b)More than 30 thousand plastic barriers and 1.5 million face masks to drivers and 1 million to couriers. c)Masks use validation installed through artificial intelligence.
SDGS & Targets
Deliverables & Timeline
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CDMX, Nuevo León, Jalisco, State of Mexico, Puebla, Chihuahua, Baja California, Sinaloa, Sonora, Yucatán, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Morelos, Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Baja California Sur, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, Durango, Morelia, Nayarit & Colima