Stanford University Study Examines the Gender Pay Gap Among Uber Drivers

A study conducted by researchers at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University found that women Uber drivers make 7 percent less per hour than their male counterparts. The discrepancies aren’t the result of unfair compensation packages; instead, driver preferences and constraints create the gaps, the research shows.

The results showed that women on average drive more slowly (which means fewer overall passengers), drive in less crowded areas, work fewer hours, spend more time away from the app, and have less experience using the app than the male drivers do.

Rebecca Diamond, an associate professor of economics at Stanford and co-author of the study notes that women also are less likely to drive in areas of higher crime or with more bars. “Women are willing to take a pay cut in exchange for avoiding picking up drunk riders or dealing with unsafe areas,” Professor Diamond explains. “It’s not really fair that you should be paid less because people are more likely to give you a hard time.”

Whether male or female “you’re basically being paid for how quickly you can get to places and take good routes,” Professor Diamond says. “Companies might be able to tighten their pay gaps by offering more education on how to use their platform.”

Dr. Diamond joined the faculty at Stanford in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2018. She is a graduate of Yale University with degrees in physics, mathematics, and economics. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

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