Ride hailing companies promise to generate thousands of badly needed new jobs in Jordan. Lana Mohammed, who previously worked as an accountant, a bank teller and an HR officer, is one of a growing number of Jordanian women choosing to become drivers for the Careem ride-hailing app.
Why did you decide to join Careem?
I wasn’t very comfortable in my work. My number one challenge in my last job as an HR officer was how to abide by the law in a manner that would also help me gain the respect of the staff. I succeeded in doing that but then I realized there was an administration that would resist these attempts to be close to the employees. I then started thinking about Careem and started looking for a car. I worked with Careem for a couple of hours each day for about two months while I was still in my old job before I decided that I wanted to work with them full time. Today I work between five to eight hours each day.
Is it financially rewarding to work as a driver?
It’s the same as my previous jobs with less working hours and a more relaxed me. When I approached Careem they told me there were 100 other female drivers and that it was a good decision. But I had already made up my mind regardless of whether I was going to find support or not. I asked another female driver first who told me it was financially rewarding and safe for a female. She also advised me to buy a hybrid car to save on gasoline.
Who do you mostly drive and how do men feel when they realize it’s a female driver?
I drive mostly females who become ecstatic when they see me. Many of them even demanded that they have the choice on the app to choose a female driver. As for men, most of them ask me if they can sit in front which I don’t mind at all. We should stop distinguishing between men and women in this job, we should reach a point where we stop reacting with shock that a female works as a driver today. In the end it is a respectable job.
Would you encourage other females to follow suit?
Not in the sense “Yes girls go and become drivers,” but if you love driving then yes do it, why not. It shouldn’t be a taboo.
Would you drive at night?
I make it a point to finish my day by 6 or 7 max, depending on when I start in the morning. But what makes it most comfortable for me is that it is a flexible job that allows me to choose my working hours.
What are the general rules of working with Careem?
When you join Careem you are taught how to use the app. Then they teach you how to deal with the customers and the dos and don’ts. The don’ts include not smoking and not allowing the customers to smoke, not turning the radio on unless the customer requests that you do, the AC needs to be turned on all the time, not asking the customers to sit in front and to have a charger available in the car.