Rachel Holt: Putting Women in the Driver’s Seat

February 10 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: What’s Driving Your Introspection?

When was the last time you sat in the passenger’s seat of a car, looked out the window and just daydreamed? It seems like every chance I get, I’m scrolling through my smartphone absentmindedly. But I remember when I was a teenager and the car was a sort of portal to introspection.

Today, make some space for yourself to just think, with no distractions. Whether it’s riding shotgun or jumping on public transit, give yourself time to just be. You might just come up with the answer to something that’s been bugging you for weeks.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1 Million By 2020

Hopping in a rideshare to go to work or come home from a night out is the perfect time to dive into your own thoughts. One ridesharing company I’m sure you’ve heard of is Uber, and it’s making a commitment to ensure more women become gainfully employed behind the wheel. In 2015, Uber partnered with UN Women, with the goal of increasing economic opportunities for women by creating a million jobs for women by 2020. That’s a significant undertaking, considering only 14 percent of current Uber drivers are women.

The hope is that this initiative creates a more female-friendly environment at Uber, both for drivers and passengers, many of whom have expressed they would feel safer with a female driver.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Rachel Holt, Head of North America Operations for Uber

As we’ve noted in previous newsletters, one way to hire more women is to make sure you have women at the top to begin with! Rachel Holt is one of these powerful women driving change. She is the head of North American operations for Uber, and in 2016, was named one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40.

Rachel began her career at management consulting firm Bain & Company before attending Stanford Graduate School of Business. Then this ambitious lady took on a marketing manager position with massive household-goods business The Clorox Company before landing a gig as the general manager for Uber in the Washington, D.C., area. She started at Uber when it was still in its infancy, in 2011, and had only 30 employees, long before the company was worth an estimated $40 billion. She climbed the Uber ladder, eventually becoming in charge of the entire continent of North America for the company.

Rachel is on a mission to improve the Uber driving experience this year. She even started a side-hustling gig as an Uber driver herself to understand what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat. She says that experience has helped her identify the faults in the system that must be addressed, ones that, with some luck and focus, will garner more female drivers for the company. Rachel plans to accomplish improving the driver experience by offering Uber drivers specific training materials based on their skills. So whether you’re an Uber newbie or practically a racecar-driving pro, you can find something valuable.

Rachel is no stranger to implementing business strategies. And her degree in psychology is sure to help her better understand and improve upon the human element of the business. We look forward to where Rachel drives Uber’s business next.


Today’s quote comes from Mary Ann Evans, the Victorian-era novelist who wrote under the male pen name George Eliot. She said:

“The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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