From Slate, Alison Griswold writes a fascinating article about the partnership and then the lack of a partnership between Uber and .U.N. Women. The annoiuncement/retraction is compelling but of particular interest to those of us interested in worker classification is her discussion about whether the sharing economy and companies like Uber are good or bad for women. Alison says we don’t know yet. She writes:
“The big problem with ITF’s statement is that no one really knows how worried we should be about the “sharing economy” and the proliferation of independent-contractor jobs, so for the moment people are mostly voicing opinions that are convenient for them. In late January, Uber released a study arguing that the jobs it offers are filling a hole in the economy by giving people the chance to set their own schedules and work on their own terms. In that paper, it noted that “women driver-partners,” which make up 14 percent of its workers in the U.S., “were more likely than men to highlight the need for flexibility as a reason for becoming a partner with Uber.” ITF, on the other hand, includes multiple associations of taxi workers, and as pretty much everyone knows, the taxi lobby hates Uber. And what we do know is that Uber and services like it are making things much more difficult for traditional cabbies by increasing competition and cutting into their market share.
It may not be a very helpful conclusion, but it’s probably too soon to say whether Uber is good for women, bad for women, or not really good or bad, just different…”
Read the full story at U.N. Women cancels partnership with Uber: A rift over creating 1 million jobs by 2020..