Male Uber drivers are earning more money behind the wheel than women because they drive faster, a new report reveals.
According to a Stanford study released on Tuesday (6 February), men are earning about 7% more for jobs because of three factors: speed, experience and willingness to drive far away. The study also found that men work longer hours and complete more trips per week.
Driving speed was the most influential factor in the pay gap, the study showed. "Increasing speed increases expected driver earnings in almost all Uber settings. Drivers are paid according to the distance and time they travel on trip and, in the vast majority of cases, the loss of per-minute pay when driving quickly is outweighed by the value of completing a trip quickly to start the next trip sooner and accumulate more per-mile days."
Men were found to drive about 0.8 miles quicker. From the study, which analysed the earnings of almost two million Uber drivers total, it was found that men make roughly $30 USD more per week. The average male driver earns $397.68 over seven days and the average female driver makes $268.18.
Driving experience was the next most important factor leading to a pay gap. Male drivers are building more experience simply because they drive more shifts during a seven-day cycle. In the United States there is about 1.36 million male drivers for Uber compared to around 512,000 female drivers - about 2.7 times as many men.
Men, however, completed about 650 million trips between January 2015 and March 2017 - whereas women completed just under 100 million. In that 26 month time frame, each male driver was completing about 1.5 times as many trips per week as a female driver - 31.52 per week compared to 21.83
The study concluded that a pay gap can exist between men and women even in anonymous occupations such as Uber. "Even in the gender-blind, transactional, flexible environment of the gig economy, gender-based preferences (especially the value of time not spent at paid work and, for drivers, preferences for driving speed) can open gender earnings gaps."