Uber Pledges To Create 1 Million Jobs For Women In 5 Years

Taxi-driving is a male-dominated profession, but the ride-hailing app Uber is promising to put many more women behind the wheel.

Uber announced on Tuesday that it plans to create 1 million driver jobs for women by 2020. The pledge came in the form of a blog post on Uber's website, with a statement written by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of UN Women, which aims to economically empower women around the world.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Uber emphasized how its driver jobs can empower women by giving them flexible schedules and equal pay.

"Driving on the Uber platform allows women to set their own schedules," the spokesperson wrote. "With Uber, there is no gender-based wage gap: men and women earn equally on the platform."

Only about 14 percent of Uber's 160,000 drivers in the U.S. are women.

The safety of women who use Uber and other car services has been in the spotlight recently. An Uber driver last year was accused of raping a female passenger in New Delhi.

In India and around the world, a number of companies have sprouted up recently to meet demand from women passengers for women drivers.

In New York City, where nearly 99 percent of taxi drivers are men, a service called SheRides lets passengers use an app to request female drivers.

Uber told Reuters that women passengers won't be able to specifically request a woman driver.

In a promotional video on Uber's website, the company featured a number of female Uber drivers who touted the job as one that has given them flexibility and independence. A driver in Bogotá, Colombia, said she feels safe driving an Uber because it's a cash-free service.

This post has been updated to include comments from an Uber spokesperson.