In January, Chinese social media lit up after several cities introduced women-only parking spaces marked with a stiletto on a pink background. They were not only pink but were wider than standard parking spaces which critics saw as a reinforcement of stereotypes that women are bad drivers. Now, new research from ride hailing giant DiDi Chuxing has dispelled that myth. It shows their women drivers achieved an overall service rating of 4.9 out of 5.

In preparation for the International Women’s Day, DiDi has published new insights on its female drivers through DiDi Women’s Network. According to the research, female drivers comprised 10% of all drivers on its platform which means 2.3 million Chinese women are driving for DiDi. Despite the numbers, many passengers are still surprised to find a woman driver when they hail a ride, according to one of DiDi’s female drivers (in Chinese). They are also curious about how much she makes.

“Income is not very good since I’m working by fits and starts during working days and rest on every weekend,” a user under the nickname of Xiao Wu Shuo Che writes in a post about her life as a female driver on Baidu’s content platform Baijiahao. “With waist pain I can’t work continuously, so I will head back home around noon. I planned to work during the morning peak hours, but not every day because it’s tough to get up early. I don’t want to miss the evening peak hours, but once it gets dark, my husband and child start to call and ask me to get back home. Their reason is fair, it’s dangerous for female drivers to take night shifts.”

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.