back to article Uber: Ah yeah, we pay women drivers less than men. We can explain!

Uber drivers who identify as women make seven per cent less than their male counterparts on average, research has found. You can't blame this one entirely on Uber bros, though. A study by Stanford University eggheads and Uber staffers in the US found the difference in earnings is actually down to driver experience and usage …

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  1. Paul 87

    This is where there's a huge difference between equality and equity, on paper Uber pays men and women the same hourly rate, for the same journey. Great.

    However, as their analysis shows, there's factors that cause a gender pay gap to be present, which include time spent driving (likely due to domestic demands), trips picked up (men doing more to game the system) and it wouldn't surprise me if mem worked more unsocialable hours than women too.

    All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip.

      Not buying this. As they are paid by the trip, then the pay is equal.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Piece work, then. Does that pan out in the traditional factory lines where women dominated?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip."

      A company like Uber would pass any pay increase onto the customer. I can't imagine anybody being happy about an Uber toggle function to selectively choose the sex (I'm leaving gender out because that's not what we are talking about) of the driver or a notification pops up that you accept the cost is higher because of the 3 factors outlined in the study.

      Ultimately, Uber and other similar services should be encouraging female drivers to increase their experience and improve their drive times, which accounts for 5/6 of the price gap. If they are not comfortable with the returns to drive location, then that is ultimately their decision, especially if perceived safety is an issue. That is a bigger societal issue than the direct fault of Uber.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      What a stupid idea. If the women get a bump for not choosing to work as many hours and thus gaining less experience, then someone who is a full time stay at home mom or dad while their spouse works and thus can only work a few hours on evenings and weekends and gains even less experience should get paid even more based on your foolish concept of "equity"!

      Heck, the new drivers who have no experience are going to be the most clueless about where the best locations are, the best hours to work, the shortest routes to get customers to their destination so they can take more trips etc. so I guess you want to pay them twice as much to make up for that disadvantage?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So does having balls mean someone has to work longer and harder to achieve the equal pay of someone without?

      Repeat after me, active discrimination is still discrimination. I also await the elusive argument where this is not the case.

      1. Draco

        You either didn't understand or deliberately mistated the point

        Men and women earn the same pay per unit of work. Some units of work are worth more than others.

        (1) Those who complete more units of work earn more than those who complete fewer units of work.

        (2) Those who have completed more units of work have learned where to find more lucrative units of work and, naturally, go after them. This is down to experience - not gender.

        However, what does break down according to gender are:

        (1) Women complete fewer units of work than men and therefore earn less. If they completed the same number of work units, they would earn the same.

        (2) Women, having less experience, are not as aware of higher paying units of work. If they worked more, gained more experience, they will learn where the more profitable units of work are and go after them.

    5. Lysenko

      All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip.

      People with fewer hours worked and therefore less domain relevant experience should have their earnings equalised by executive fiat? I'm impressed. Ideological denial of economic reality to rival cold fusion and anti-gravity matter.

      In any case, you will be/are doubtless applying this logic in your own industry? Junior devs (junior anything actually) should be hired at exactly the same salary as project leaders. In fact, to redress historical inequity, junior new hires need to be on higher salaries than senior guys with a couple of decades of experience. Genius! I mean, no-one puts in extra time and effort for anything as crass as "money" anyway. Seniority can be signalled by "employee of the month" awards, decided by democratic secret ballot!!

      Ah. You're trolling, aren't you? Variant of Godwin's Law. Well played....

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They drive slower, less often"

      And have more accidents per mile driven.

      1. Sebastian P.

        Do you have numbers to back that up? Because if you only go anecdotally, a more aggressive driving style is more conductive to having more accidents. And is also more annoying for the other participants in the traffic - a societal cost not factored in yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >>a more aggressive driving style is more conductive to having more accidents. And is also more annoying for the other participants in the traffic

          No - poor, hesitant, slow and drivers lacking in confidence are WAY more annoying for other participants in traffic. Those are overwhelmingly women.

          1. tiggity Silver badge

            Boy racer (insert expletive of choice) type drivers are far more annoying than someone being careful.

            Had a fun moment this morning it was about -4C according to car thermometer, impatient male driver overtakes me, a few seconds later he skids on black ice and (fortunately for him he did not hit a tree or anything else damaging as country road had grass verges either side, only damage was to his pride).

            There is usually a reason for caution....

            Last time I looked at UK stats, womene were safer drivers than men.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "a few seconds later he skids on black ice and"

              and what?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Boy racer (insert expletive of choice) type drivers are far more annoying than someone being careful."

              I call bs on that. It's way way more annoying to be stuck behind someone who cant even pull out of a junction in traffic, drives at 30MPH in the middle of the road, or takes several goes to reverse park excruciating slowly on a busy high street and then gives up than it is to be say overtaken by a boy racer.

              1. 2Nick3 Bronze badge

                "I call bs on that. It's way way more annoying to be stuck behind someone who cant even pull out of a junction in traffic, drives at 30MPH in the middle of the road, or takes several goes to reverse park excruciating slowly on a busy high street and then gives up than it is to be say overtaken by a boy racer."

                You're not describing someone being careful, you're describing someone who doesn't have the basic skills required to drive. A careful driver could be defined as someone who doesn't cause other drivers to have to react to them.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "You're not describing someone being careful, you're describing someone who doesn't have the basic skills required to drive."

                  Both categories are overwhelmingly women.

              2. TRT Silver badge

                overtaken by a boy racer...

                At least one has the satisfaction of being able to think "I bet they'll end up wrapped round a tree before I get home".

              3. JohnFen Silver badge

                "I call bs on that. "

                You're stating your personal opinion as if it were objective fact. It isn't -- it's just your opinion. My opinion is that both types of drivers are annoying, but the aggressive ones are far more so. And it's the aggressive ones who are more likely to endanger my physical well-being.

                1. Twilight

                  "You're stating your personal opinion as if it were objective fact. It isn't -- it's just your opinion. My opinion is that both types of drivers are annoying, but the aggressive ones are far more so. And it's the aggressive ones who are more likely to endanger my physical well-being."

                  Actually, you are provably wrong on this one. There have been several studies recently that have shown that the too-slow, hesitant driver is actually far more likely to cause accidents than the aggressive, too-fast driver. Here's a link for a UK article on it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2016721/Slow-drivers-dangerous-roads-cause-crashes.html

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Here's a link for a UK article on it ...

                    Rule 698.

                    @Twilight: You can't cite the Daily Fail as an authoritative source. Unless you're trolling or being ironic or otherwise messing around. Seriously; don't. Provably wrong... it's the best laugh I've had on this thread.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              >Last time I looked at UK stats, women were safer drivers than men.

              I take it that wasn't in the last couple of decades then. Per mile driven women have significantly more accidents (circa +10%). In both the UK and US at least. There are several scientific studies to back that up.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Depends how you measure "safer". If you overtake someone on the wrong side of the road at 100mph, or you misjudge a parking space, both can lead to accidents. Women have more of the latter, but the types of accidents men have, while fewer in number, are far more dangerous in terms of injuries. Men are far more likely to die in road traffic accidents than women.

          2. Dog11

            poor, hesitant, slow and drivers lacking in confidence are WAY more annoying for other participants in traffic. Those are overwhelmingly women.

            While this may be statistically true for women in general (I don't know), it is likely linked to driving experience (hours put in behind the wheel). I suspect women get less (ever notice how when a couple goes somewhere, it's almost always the male who drives?).

            But I also suspect that's not going to be true of the women who choose to drive for Uber. Those women aren't likely to be the ones who are nervous behind the wheel.

          3. hellwig Silver badge

            I'm with you right up until "those are overwhelmingly women".

            And replace annoying with dangerous.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Do you have numbers to back that up?"

          https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/news/trans-canada-highway/women-have-more-accidents-per-mile/article1372682/

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2012188/Women-drivers-ARE-dangerous-wheel-scientists-discover.html

          etc. etc. This is hardly new news that women are usually terrible drivers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "This is hardly new news that women are usually terrible drivers."

            Yep. Some countries even make special allowances for this:

            https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/nintchdbpict000261289030-e1471884183965.jpg?w=960

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            IS2R from working in motor insurance that women do indeed have more accidents per mile. That may reflect inexperience. Men, OTHO, cause more £damage and injuries. That may just be because they are more likely to be driving on fast and/or busy roads.

            In any case, there are so many confounding factors that I find most claims that driving ability is *directly* correlated with sex to be insufficiently justified.

        3. katrinab Silver badge

          Women have more accidents. Men have more expensive accidents - ie driving at 90mph on the wrong side of the road to overtake someone rather than parking scrapes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Women have more accidents"

            So bearing in mind that women are also apparently much slower and more cautious drivers - to then still have more accidents does support that women are commonly atrocious drivers!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I fail to see how you can use sex to define whether someone is a good driver or not, you might as well include age, you know young verses old.

              You can't pigeon hole people, there are probably some excellent men and women drivers and equally some very poor drivers.

              People are just people.

              Sure there may be studies that show otherwise but unless you are going to test every single person in the world then you are just making generalisations on a small set of data.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "I fail to see how you can use sex to define whether someone is a good driver or not"

                Someone maybe not, a statistically average driver of that sex, yes you can.

                "You can't pigeon hole people"

                No, but you can qualify it with "on average", etc.

                "then you are just making generalisations on a small set of data"

                The data sets used for some of these studies were vast. Millions of drivers.

                1. Rob Daglish
                  Coat

                  People having sex whilst driving are usually too distracted to be good drivers...

                2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                  Accidents by gender

                  It really doesn't matter what accidents are caused by which sex as it's likely anonymized data. As such the data ignores any possibility of the 80/20 rule in play. Sure, women may have more accidents per mile but it isn't know whether 80% of those accidents could be caused by only 20% of drivers or if it's roughly evenly distributed. It's quite easy for one particularly poor female driver to go from spot to spot dinging everything along the way to skew the statistic. On the other hand if males tend to be involved in more serious accidents it is highly unlikely the car, much less the operator, will be able to continue smashing things much later in the day but, assuming the prat survives, he can go on and ruin another car next month.

                  Let's also keep in mind that most of these aren't truly accidents as the vast majority are avoidable and the result of someone acting negligently or carelessly.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              IIRC, women have more accidents/mile than men, but these tend to be low speed and hence less damaging. Men are more likely to have high speed accidents causing far more damage. That's why, when insurance companies were allowed to rate by gender, men were charged higher premiums.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "That's why, when insurance companies were allowed to rate by gender, men were charged higher premiums."

                Actually it was far more that men tend to driver 50% more miles a year on average.

                1. TRT Silver badge

                  Speaking as...

                  someone who competes for contracts to repair damaged vehicles and provide finance for additional warranties and can comment on sex-bias in the industry...

                  That would mean I would be a fender bender mender, gender lender extender looking to tender.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        >And have more accidents per mile driven

        Funnily enough, such hardheaded bean counters as the car insurance industry seem to think women are the better risk.

        So, 1 stupid pro-women ignoramus heading this discussion ("pay them more $$$ cuz equity even for same job") and another equally stupid anti-women ignoramus with you. Do your IQ deficiencies cancel out? Or are they synergistic?

    7. IamStillIan

      That's rather mixed bag then:

      "due domestic demands" - that would indicate the issue is socital bias in domestic responsibilities; not really within an employers scope to mitigate, but clearly a route cause for various other gender issues.

      "gaming the system" - seems to be about experience rather than gender. It's probably still something Uber should address; presumably through tweaks to the pricing model to try and minimise the advantages so all fares yield equvilant rewards. They'll never get that perfect, but can probably do better that an current. This however, would be primarily for the benefit of the customers rather than the

      drivers.

    8. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      RE: Paul

      If Person A works faster, works longer hours, and gets higher customer ratings than Person B guess who is earning more?

      Despite what feminists say you can't "have it all". Spending less time at work *will* mean you earn less than a man who works more. It's not a pay gap, it's an earnings gap.

    9. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      "...meaning women need to get paid more per trip."

      No, that's assuring equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. If operative A is spending 50% more time driving and thus is better at the task from practice, or from working unsociable hours, then there is no justification in giving operative B an artificial increase in pay to match operative A when operative B is not as good at the task and chooses not to work unsociable hours.

      If you want to pursue the equality angle then the one valid point you put in there is a note about domestic demands. There is no good reason that such demands can't fall equally on male and female parents and is indeed a social trope that can be addressed (again, equality of opportunity; this time for men).

      Also, please note its not women but those who *identify* as women, or would you choose to disadvantage males who identify as women? Tell you what, if I could get paid more for writing down on a job application that I identify as a woman, I'd do it.

      We need to stop giving undue advantage to social groupings and start making sure everyone has the same opportunities to succeed regardless of gender and such.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Identify as a female.

        I did that, identified as a female, blonde with big tits too. The interview was fun, the interview committee couldn't stop themselves from pissing themselves laughing,

        I got the job though.

        It's time to follow the rump of F1's (formula 1) lead. Avoid all this hassle of men v women equal pay (Equal pay for equal work, that is.)

        Sack the women, and exploit kids, no need to pay them. In facat, we'll earn revenue from it.

    10. Dal90

      > want true equity between the genders

      This sounds very much like a fairness argument -- such as how it's not fair that veterans returning from World War II should have to compete for jobs against women who were doing those jobs during the war. So we'll have to fire those women so men will have a job, even if we have to pay the men more.

      Equity is far more a values judgement, subject to the whims of society at the time, than the concept of equality.

    11. JLV Silver badge
      Trollface

      >women need to get paid more per trip.

      From each according to his peoplekind* ability, to each according to his peoplekind need

      * Forgive the dumb joke, couldn't resist in this context. I rather like Trudeau, most of the time, but becoming a poster child for silly political correctness stunts provides ammunition to anyone wanting to disregard and oppose what he stands for without much upside.

    12. Sherrie Ludwig

      Until your last paragraph....

      @Paul87, I was agreeing that due to factors correlated with but not caused by gender differences, the difference was understandable. As a woman who has experienced wage discrimination for no good reason other than being female, I still disagree with your last paragraph. I don't want the playing field tipped in my direction, just level. If I drove Uber, I would take these findings and, if I wished to make more money, adjust my work to more closely match male Uber drivers. Would I make the bar closing hour runs? Still, probably not. But I might pay more attention to, for example, commuter train schedules.

    13. KroSha

      It's not a "gender pay gap", or a "gender wage gap"; it's a "earnings gap". The men take home more because they work longer hours and have more experience and thus earn more. Women have an equal opportunity to earn exactly the same or more than their counterparts. All they have to do is put in the effort to achieve this.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Why is this a story?

    People who work part time earn less than those who work full time in the same role.

    What next, if someone chooses to work 50% of full time, they should be paid double the standard rate to equalize their pay?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Why is this a story?

      "People who work part time earn le"ss than those who work full time in the same role."

      It's not even this. It's "More experienced people better at job."

      1. th3ro

        Re: Why is this a story?

        Work full time you're going to become experienced much more quickly.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Why is this a story?

          Because Uber is not deliberately under-paying their female drivers.

          That is man-bites-dog news right there!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is this a story?

      Why is this a story?

      It's not. It's a study, a science research study.

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