The women taking on Uber

International ride-sharing sensation Uber has had its share of bad press lately, some of which has led to the creation of a splinter service – the first all-female ride-share service, Shebah.

There have been a few alarming stories about Uber in the news, including reports of sexual assault and indecent treatment of women by drivers. In all fairness, there have also been documented (on video) reports of customers mistreating Uber drivers, but that’s another story.

A recent report revealed that the poor treatment of women inside the organisation had led to female drivers consisting of just three per cent of Uber’s workforce compared with 25 per cent a year ago.

From the ashes of Uber’s lack of respect for women comes Shebah – Australia’s first all-female ride-share service.

Conceived and created by teacher and stand-up comedian Georgina McEnroe, Shebah aims to “help women flourish as earners, carers and social butterflies. At every stage, every age and every hour”.

Recently divorced and looking to complement her income, Ms McEnroe thought to apply for an Uber license, but after all the bad press, decided it was just too risky for a female driver.

Thoughts of her daughter’s safety, having to catch taxis or rides with potentially drunken friends late at night, led to an epiphany of sorts – a female-only version of Uber.

shebah website screenshot

Initial capital came from crowd-funding in 2016, after which, a slew of investors and corporate partners got on board.

Ms McEnroe then launched Shebah on International Women’s Day this year in Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane and the Gold Coast and within a day her app was the most popular on the App Store.

Shebah is also now available in Sydney, the Sunshine Coast and will roll out soon in Perth, Darwin and Adelaide.

Shebah’s drivers get to keep 85 per cent of the fare, with all employees having to pass stringent checks, including full state Driver Accreditation, a Working with Children Check (or equivalent) and a current roadworthy certificate for their car.

So if you’re unhappy or feel unsafe with Uber, why not try Shebah instead?

Related articles:
Report exposes Uber’s toxic culture
Uber travel tested
Uber puts rude customers on notice