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Women Drive Out Stereotypes

Find out how Grab is helping to empower women with freedom and flexibility.

The flexibility of driving for Grab is giving women in Malaysia a new way to get back into the workforce and balance both work and life. They are creating income for their families, and wealth for their economies. And along the way, they are often challenging gender stereotypes too. Let’s take a look at how our Grab women drivers are taking control of their lives.

It’s not unknown for women to be transport professionals – whether driving cars or on bikes, or buses, trains or even planes. But it’s far from the usual. Now, Grab is helping tens of thousands of women from all walks of life to become professional drivers, all around the region.

In the last year, the number of women driving for Grab in Southeast Asia grew by more than 230%. That means tens of thousands of women who have become empowered to pursue fulfilling and flexible work that suits their lifestyles. And women are clocking longer distances as well: this January, women on Grab drove more than 570% further than in January 2017!

Women drive with Grab for a whole host of reasons. For some, it’s a way to take control of their finances. For others, it’s about having a fulfilling job that fits with their lifestyle and personal priorities, whether that’s family or just being independent:

“I used to be a caterer, but since I started doing my PhD in Education, I drive to pass time in between my classes and also to supplement my income. I have three kids all studying in boarding school, so it has really helped for me to focus on my studies and driving. When they do come back for the holidays or the weekend, I have the freedom to drive less so I can spend more time with them.” – Suryati Binti Basra, Malaysia

“My kids are my motivation. Being a single mum, everything I do revolves around my children.” – Rubi Isni Binti Zainuddin, Malaysia

Comfortable with technology

Grab’s technology is playing a vital role in empowering women to make their hopes, ambitions and dreams a reality. For all drivers, and women in particular, Grab’s mobile technology platform enables not only flexibility, but also peace of mind.

“I used to worry about getting lost, since I don’t know Jakarta’s streets very well. But thanks to enhanced technology, I can use GPS in the Grab app to find my way.” – Solihat Tina Wati, Indonesia

“I like the real-time trackability of the application, which means safety for both passengers and us.” – Ranu Sirichompoo, Thailand

As more and more women take to the road with Grab, they are addressing perceived concerns about safety. Grab women around the region talk about the peace of mind that comes from not only Grab’s technology – where every driver, passenger and ride is online in real time – but also the power of the community.

“I have trust in Grab and its emergency response team. The GPS turns on, and I know someone at Grab follows me throughout the ride to make sure both drivers and passengers are safe.” – Nguyen Thi Huong Tram, Vietnam

“Many fellow Grab drivers taught me how to use the mobile application and I can chat with them if I face any problems. It’s a very heartwarming driver community. People help one another, and I feel very confident as a Grab driver now.” – Jintana Keawpanpha, Thailand

“Many passengers praise me for my confidence in choosing this living, and say they feel safe when they ride with a woman driver.” — Ma Ei Ei Han, Myanmar

Freedom to choose

One reason Grab is increasingly a woman’s choice is the freedom it gives. When you’re juggling family and other commitments, it pays to be flexible. So, it’s not surprising that around the region Grab women drivers drive 24% less than their male counterparts measured by distance, and spend 14% less time behind the wheel.

“I can choose to drive whenever I feel like it or when my schedule allows. In this way, I don’t feel as much pressure. It’s also the reason why I choose driving with Grab as my part-time job. I can plan around my working schedule.” – Dugduean Phophrom, Thailand

But despite different lifestyles between men and women, female Grab drivers say that there’s less of a contrast in driving styles. While many female Grab drivers say they’re proud to drive more calmly and carefully than men, they tend to agree that neither men nor women are the better drivers. What’s most important is service.

“I don’t like the stereotype that women can’t drive. In fact, many of my passengers have commented that my driving skills are excellent. More female drivers should be on the road in Singapore!” – Suzanne, Singapore

“Sometimes I’ll pick up passengers who will be a little unhappy that I’m a female driver. They don’t say it, but I can tell from their expressions and body language. But often, they will later tell me during the trip that I drive very well and confess that they are very impressed!” – Judaea, Singapore

“Women drivers are good drivers. We can do what men can. But we value safety more than anything.” – Reggie Robles, Philippines

Grab passenger ratings support this sense of equality. In every Grab country in the region, the differences in star ratings between male and female drivers are less than five percentage points. Although, for the record, it’s usually the women who score slightly better!

“For me, the first step to achieving high passenger ratings is to build trust with the passenger. Whenever passengers get into my  car, I welcome them with my biggest smile, talk, and even joke with them.” – Lieu Thi Quy Thao, Vietnam

Sisters are doing it for themselves…and their loved ones

Women drivers at Grab are driven by both their heads and their hearts. Ambition and drive are often the keys to success:

“My motivation is usually the personal target I’ve set for myself – how much do I want to earn a day?” – Suryati Binti Basra, Malaysia

“You have to have a goal. That will drive you to get what you want. Dedication and perseverance are key. You have to set a goal and work hard for it.” – Hazel Maage, Philippines

“I am 60 years old and this is by far the job I love the most. People really care and help one another. One day, a passenger asked to take my photo and said he would show it to his younger brothers at home to teach them a lesson: you’re never too old to try and to work.” – Dang Thi Thanh Thuy, Vietnam

But while female Grab drivers often start their Grab careers for rational reasons of flexibility and income, it’s often the personal connection with passengers that touches their hearts.

“I love talking to my passengers, especially those who are involved in business. You learn so much from them. In general, every passenger has an interesting story to tell. I tell myself every day that I will meet a new person and that excites me!” – Jane, Malaysia

“My favorite part of driving is meeting nice and friendly passengers. Sometimes they will ask me to drive-thru to get food. Then they will just give me a sandwich. Simple things like that just make my heart happy.”  – Rhae Sabinorio, Philippines

Tens of thousands of women around Southeast Asia are finding a new balance driving with Grab. They are balancing both home and life, ambition and lifestyle. And they want to help others. In the words of Daw Ni Ni Shein, a female Grab driver from Myanmar:

“I’d like to encourage all the women out there. We all have difficulties and cannot avoid any misfortune that happens to us. So let’s just confront it and find a way to fight back or to overcome. Things never remain the same forever. Don’t easily give up. Get up and Grab!”