As we celebrate National Women’s Month under the theme of Generation Equality, we recognise women's rights for an equal future. The transport and delivery industry has traditionally been seen as male-dominated, however, companies like Uber are providing women with the opportunity to get into the driving seat and increase earning opportunities that will suit them.
Below we look at four phenomenal women who are making strides to improve their lives.
Nosipho residing in Midrand, is the definition of a mover and shaker, she believes that her destiny is hers to determine. Before driving on the Uber app, four years ago Nosipho worked at one of the biggest telecommunications companies in South Africa. Due to several factors, she decided to join Uber as it afforded her with the flexibility she needed to spend more time with her ill child, who has since passed. Mzimela details how it was challenging to navigate through her work schedule and doctors appointments for her child which ultimately led to the decision to drive with Uber.
While she enjoys the reaction from her riders when they see a woman behind the wheel, she feels humbled by the fact that she has ample opportunities at her disposal to make a sustainable living for herself.
41-year Ronel, who is a married mother of two from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town, believes that driving with Uber allows her to make a difference in the lives of many, as she is able to move riders to their destination safely and reliably. Ronel is no stranger to a male-dominated industry, she previously worked for an armed response company and she was also a driver at a liquor company. Like many other drivers, she is thrilled to have the choice of driving when her schedule allows her, meaning more time with her family.
Ronel feels blessed to have the opportunity to meet different riders who she learns from every day as she takes them from A to B. Women empowerment is extremely important to Ronel and hopes to one day have more vehicles on the app to empower other women..
Harriet, a 35-year-old Uber Eats courier from Brixton is married with two kids (a boy and a girl), she is fierce and not afraid of hard work. Harriet explains how she persuaded her husband to purchase a bike for her as she was tired of sitting at home and letting opportunities pass her by. Before Signing up with Uber Eats, she worked at a well-known South African chicken franchise store and adds that while earning opportunities are scarce, companies such as Uber Eats unlock opportunities regardless of one’s gender. While the lockdown restrictions have had an impact on the livelihoods of many, she is grateful that she can still earn an income as many have lost their jobs.
Thinking of her dream future, Harriet wants to go back to school and finish off her studies to encourage her two children to work hard and be independent.
Enita, a 42-year-old mother of three, is a Uber Eats courier from Kempton Park. Enita is a jack of all trades and arguably masters them all. She is a qualified dental technician and a well-known seamstress in her community.
Never one to shy away from any opportunity that will empower her as well as upskill her, she regularly attends events hosted by the app to support couriers to ensure that their businesses succeed. Enita added that last year she attended a safety event hosted by Uber Eats which provided couriers with safety tips as well as shed more information on the injury protection cover that couriers have access to in the event of any safety incident.
While life may be different this year, Women’s Month remains an important time to celebrate the phenomenal queens amongst us who many call mom, aunts, business leaders as well frontline workers. .