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Uber launches LGBTQ+ education initiative through mobile training tool eduMe


In our latest fireside chat, we sat down with Uber to talk about their recent safety education initiative focused around fostering tolerance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, launched in partnership with eduMe.

Our VP of Client Services, Priya Bhandari, spoke with Uber Mexico's Safety Communications Manager, Cecilia Román, about:

Watch the full recording, or find the transcript below.



Uber's wider safety strategy (02:03)


Brilliant. Thank you so much Cecilia and today we're going to be doing a deep dive into a particular safety education initiative that you launched in Uber Mexico around, fostering tolerance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.

But before we dive into that I'd like to start with the higher level overview of the wider strategy in terms of this type of education and these types of campaigns, it'd be great if you could give us some some context around that.


Of course. Well, one thing that we really believe in at Uber is the power of our platform to really push for, and to promote, not only safer interactions through the app, but actually to be a part of those solutions to those big challenges that we have in our societies and in the cities in which we operate.

That's one of the convictions that drives many of our partnerships and initiatives, but also of course we are primarily focused on promoting safe interactions through the app when you are taking a ride through the Uber app, when you are ordering through the Uber Eats app, we want to promote those safe interactions and that's sort of a big umbrella in which we work.

One of the things that we want to mention when talking about this specific initiative for LGBTQ+ community is the idea of, we want to fight discrimination in any way and it's important to start off by saying that, based off our Community Guidelines and Terms and Conditions, discrimination is not tolerated in the app in any form.

That's very clear for all of our community - drivers, delivery partners, riders, eaters, everyone should know discrimination is not tolerated and we take that seriously. We have specific options in the app to report this and we have support teams that are well trained in how to handle these situations, how to also approach specific reports regarding the LGBTQ+ community. So we take care of that side, of course, of receiving reports, taking the appropriate measures when discrimination occurs. It's important to say that this includes the possibility of banning an account, right, of terminating access to an account regardless if this is a driver or a rider, so it's important to start off from there.

But of course we want to do more and we want to actually work towards preventing this from ever happening on the platform. So we have been working on that for a while. Just to name one example, last year we launched an initiative here in Mexico that was also very successful around preventing sexual harassment, harassment and inappropriate comments, particularly around women - riders and drivers - but also in general for our community. And that was done through the eduMe platform and that was very successful.


Thank you so much for explaining. It's really interesting to hear how Uber views and is using its reach and its scale to drive positive change, not only for the kind of ride-sharing or food delivery interactions, but also more widely in the community.


Exactly, that's how we see it both because we of course, you know, are constantly developing the technology and the features that we have, but also just because of the, as you mentioned, the scale of our platform and our community.

In Mexico, we have this community of 200,000 drivers and delivery partners. So that's really a very wide audience that we have that is constantly interacting with, you know, all kinds of people throughout the country, in various different situations. And so it's a very important opportunity to create this empathy and create this awareness of these types of issues.

How did this initiative come about? (05:26)


As you mentioned, you've launched very successful campaigns around gender and sexual misconduct. Tell us a bit about how this campaign around the LGBTQ+ community came about.


So we worked with an organization, "ADIL", who are consultants and experts on Diversity and Inclusion, particularly in the workplace and in professional settings. So we worked with them to review what we have built in the past, to review the content that we had and really identify, you know, what we needed to adjust and what we needed to update also. We wanted to make sure we were being very mindful of having the most up to date language and concepts. And then we also work with a pedagogical expert. She helped us to really structure the content in a way that was feeding to our needs, but also that made sense for the eduMe platform itself.

Because the eduMe platform really pushed us to not just, you know, put out 15 pages of content or text, but actually to build an experience that was engaging and was interactive. And this was the key word for us: that it was useful for drivers and delivery partners, that it was something that was relevant to them. And so we worked with her and we work with ADIL in building this content and I would say this took probably 5 months, something like that.

We knew that we wanted to spend enough time in developing this. In understanding, you know, how we wanted to adapt the content and how we could make the best use of the eduMe platform and the tools that we have there to make this again very engaging, very attractive and also, you know, make it being mindful of the actual experience that drivers have with the app, how they are interacting with it and their their their day-to-day and what would be the best way to present this information.

And so we put a lot of emphasis on building something that had concrete examples and that had a lot of very specific recommendations so that it wouldn't feel like homework, but it would feel like an actual resource that was responding to things that you face in your day-to-day life and that you want to actually have this information to avoid conflict. But also, and we've learned this in our conversations with drivers and delivery partners, because of course they want to be a part of something positive in their communities. They want to push for positive change.


Thank you so much for sharing that. And you know, having looked at the content extensively and working with the team, I think the approach that you took had a huge part to play in the success of the initiative. So this combination of driver research and really listening to the drivers, understanding what they need, what they would find useful and relevant, plus combining that with subject matter experts and then delivering it in a way that is interactive, that is concise and that is equipping drivers with practical useful skills for specific scenarios that they might find themselves in.

And I think really that combination and the way that you crafted that content has then led to this or played a big part in this being such a success.


Yeah, and maybe I would add there one thing that we also found is, you know, we didn't want to be afraid of the type of content that we were sharing and, as you mentioned, going into very specific scenarios because of course what we want to avoid is conflict. And I think that's an inherent part of talking about diversity and inclusion, you can, you know, hope for it, but actually practicing it requires solving natural conflict that might arise.

One idea that one of the experts really emphasized for us is this idea of, you know, nobody will probably identify themselves as somebody that discriminates or somebody that does harmful behavior. All of us, if we are told, you know, don't discriminate, I'll say I would never, I'm  a good person, I could never do that. But helping me identify what kind of behavior, what kind of comments I might engage in that are actually harmful. And I've never thought about it because maybe I'm not living a particular experience and then I don't realize how something that I'm doing or saying might be harmful? That's, you know, the the key place where we wanted to really contribute.

So really practical tips on scenarios that they could be facing in their everyday lives and taking that approach to creating the content. And as you said, directly, directly tackling some scenarios that are uncomfortable.

How did you deliver the training? (10:40)


So great to hear about the content, your approach to creating it. Now I'm really interested to learn a bit more about how you then delivered that content to the drivers and delivery partners. How did you disseminate it? How did you surface it to them?


Yeah, I think this was a key element, right. How how do we get them to actually see the content and engage with it? It's important always to remember, you know, drivers and delivery partners are independent workers, they are using the app flexibly in their own time, so we wanted to again build something that was relevant to them and they would engage with. And one key element I would say is the eduMe platform really helped us in integrating these through our own app.

So we are not sending our audience, we are not sending these 200,000 drivers and delivery partners somewhere else, you know, to go watch it somewhere else, but they are able to see all of this content and interact with it through the app that they use every day, which is the Uber driver app. So this app that they are earning with and they are used to having opened all of the time.

This is the app where they found this content and because the modules, we were able to use these tools within the platform, that would allow us for example to have, you know, interactive quizzes and have scenario as we were mentioning, but also having these options and having the drivers choose, you know, what would be my reaction to this situation or what's, you know, the adequate response and then actually providing short explanations to each of those options and saying, you know, this is why maybe this is not the best idea.


Yeah, absolutely, I agree that along with, so the content strategy combined with the delivery strategy is what made this so successful and I totally agree with what you said on meeting the drivers and delivery partners where they are, so they are going to the Uber app.

So you are making that optional education available in the place that they go anyway to earn money and of course with the integration that we have in place, the access to that optional education is completely seamless, so there's no need for them to log in. They simply click on the link and and they get straight to the, education and at the same time of course you then get all the data and analytics on who is engaging with the education, you know what percentage of them are completing it etcetera etcetera.

So I think I agree with you that that sort of in-app delivery has been a very critical success factor to this.


Absolutely, absolutely.

The results of the initiative (13:11)


And then just moving on a little bit to the results. It would be great if you could talk a little bit more about how you and Uber are measuring the success of this initiative.


Two things that we're looking at is first of all the engagement and then, you know, the answers that the drivers and delivery partners themselves give us about how valuable the content is.

So first on engagement, we've seen really positive numbers and, as you said, because we have the eduMe platform, we are able to measure how many people are clicking on the content itself,  how much time they are spending logged into it and are connected to the content, how many times they are reviewing it. Which is very interesting.

And all of these indicators were very high for this initiative and and you know, even measuring against other type of campaigns that we've done - for example, financial education or other types of sorts, you know, what might seem more practical information for their day-to-day - this is something that was even over-performing against those types of campaigns, but probably the most important.

And I would like to mention two results that we had. One of them is around how valuable they see the information itself. So we of course asked this drivers and delivery partners that completed the modules (the three modules that we have for this initiative) and they, you know, it's really amazing and we're really excited to see that 81% of them say they found this content extremely useful, which was all the goal that we had was for them to actually consider this relevant to their day-to-day life. So again, it's content that's been designed to promote this inclusion and respecting the platform, particularly around the LGBTQ+ community, and drivers and delivery partners are telling us they did find this to be extremely useful. Even such a high number as 81%.

And the other result that we were really excited about was the idea of drivers and delivery partners saying that this content helped them modify some type of behavior because they learned that it was incorrect. So having 58% of participants saying that they did change something because of the content is really for us an amazing result and something that we are very excited about.

And of course it's a big learning also for future initiatives. It's something that we understand that there's so much more to be done and  that this is, you know, a long road that we are in a long process that we're building with experts, organizations and partners that we have on the ground. But it's very encouraging for us to see these results from this specific initiative.


Those results are excellent and really fantastic to hear about the impact that this is having in terms of driving positive behavior change and 58% of those drivers and delivery partners are saying that they will do things differently. If we think of that 58% on the scale that you're reaching, that is that is absolutely huge. So I'm really, really happy to hear that.

Plans for the future (16:29)


And final question - we would love to hear from you how you're planning to build on and replicate this type of success and impact that you've seen in Mexico.


We are always thinking about our global goals and as I mentioned, you know, specifically the idea around the LGBTQ+ community and our conviction that everybody has the right to move with pride, to move safely and to move with freedom. This is a global principle.

And then we go and execute different initiatives locally and we want to really engage with our local partners and with the specific needs of drivers and delivery partners locally. These initiatives and these, you know, projects we have shared regionally hoping to learn from the results of these LGBTQ+ education initiative so that we were able to expand it to other countries and now that we're seeing these positive results that we're talking about, we definitely see potential of taking these learnings, taking this initiative to other countries in the region. It's always important for us to work. 

You know, it's not only a matter of the language itself with the specific nuances of how the content is created and how to make the content relevant for each situation. So it's, you know, we don't only go into translating it but actually making it and adjusting it for each country or each sub-region.


That is wonderful to hear and congratulations to the whole team on this and I'll say from my perspective, we feel privileged to be part of this in some way and look forward to working with you on replicating this initiative and many others in the region and beyond. So thank you so much, Cecilia.


No, happy to talk about this and we really appreciate, you know, all of the value that the eduMe platform and the team has brought to this project and other projects and look forward to continuing the partnership.

eduMe has played a key role in enabling Uber to onboard and upskill their driver partners remotely and effectively - providing seamless access to relevant information has helped them to boost engagement, increase retention and keep their users safe. 

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