In order to help close the gender equity gap in e-scooter usage, we are working in close collaboration with Women in Transport, a UK non-profit organisation that empowers women working in transport to maximise their potential. We were proud to be the first micromobility organisation to join Women in Transport and, along with public affairs agency, JFG Communications, we initiated a series of five focus groups into gender imbalance in shared e-scooter usage.
In response to these focus groups, we then conducted further research via questionnaires, and were delighted to have over 600 respondents. We have now formed a Gender Equity Commission of experts who will meet in March 2022 to provide recommendations based on the research, with a view to publishing the findings and feedback by end May 2022.
Why and how Voi is undertaking gender equity research
This research is part of our larger roadmap towards creating a truly inclusive industry, which began with our commissioning of the Micromobility for All report in June 2021. At Voi, we have committed to providing a service that caters for all, and this new research and collaboration with Women in Transport and JFG Communications supports us in our mission to be both proactive and reactive when it comes to inclusivity.
The industry-first research will allow Voi and others in the active and traditional transport sectors to take the necessary steps to address any existing challenges around a gender gap in e-scooter usage. In our most recent survey of Voi riders, only one in three identify as female, which is in line with other transport modes such as bikes.
All focus group participants and questionnaire respondents were informed that the purpose of their contributions was:
- to explore the attitudes of women towards shared e-scooters
- to gain the perspectives of women who use shared e-scooters as well as those who do not
- to hear their views on how to make shared e-scooter usage more equal across genders
The role of the Gender Equity Commission
In order to fully interpret the research and advise further, we have invited an esteemed group of women to become members of the Gender Equity Commission. You can see their biographies here or detailed in the image below, which includes an array of experts from influential organisations such as the International Transport Forum (ITF), C40 Cities, Open Inclusion and Women In Mobility with the Commission being chaired by Sonya Byers, CEO of Women in Transport.
This is the first ever Commission exploring gender equity in e-scooter use. The aim is to delve deeply into the findings of our research and gain insights from gender equity experts from both the transport and sustainability sectors. The Commission’s conclusions will then be used to offer a clear direction and recommendations to industry and policy makers about achieving more equitable mobility. In particular, the Commission will offer recommendations related to:
- Accessibility (equitable access to shared e-scooter services)
- Capability (equitable capability to use the service)
- Mobility justice (equitable ability to shape the service)
The next stop on the gender equity roadmap
We eagerly await the results of this research and the Commission’s findings, and are proud that Voi is an industry leader in addressing gender imbalance. We are not alone in this realisation of a gender gap, however, with the ITF’s 2021 report Micromobility, Equity and Sustainability concurring that policy should be “serving all people, with a focus on those most poorly served, whether it be because of location, income, gender, physical or cognitive impairment.”
As a leading micromobility provider working in partnership with councils and local authorities to create greener infrastructure and accessible urban design, it is vital that we specifically lobby for the design of towns and cities for women. It is only by fully understanding the issues, that we can support women’s needs, and create better towns and cities for all people to live in, and this Commission will be an important step in driving this forward.
Sonya Byers, Commission Chair and CEO of Women in Transport, says:
“It is vital we act quickly to understand the emerging gender gap in shared e-scooter use and hear from women directly. I’m delighted to be Chairing the Commission, drawing on the depth and breadth of women’s expertise in the sector to review this novel research and develop credible policy recommendations.”
Sign up here for further information and updates on the launch of the Gender Equity Commission report