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Foodtech unicorn Zomato is aiming to increase the participation of women in its delivery fleet as it targets to have atleast 10% women delivery partners by the end of this year, the company said in a blog post on Friday.

''We have always been about being a more inclusive workplace. So far, our inclusive workplace initiatives haven’t taken into consideration the fact that only about ~0.5% of our delivery partners are women,'' Zomato said. The team will be starting with this initiative in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune.

''Starting today, we are making it our goal to increase women delivery partner participation in our fleet. Currently, there are less than ~0.5% women delivery partners in our fleet and this needs to change,'' Zomato's founder Deepinder Goyal said in a tweet.

To achieve its goal of 10% women participation in the three pilot cities, Zomato said it is working on four key initiatives –

Access to safety-related education and tools: The team is adding self-defense training to our onboarding process which will be mandatory for all women delivery partners to attend. The women delivery partners will be equipped with a handy hygiene and safety kit.

Contactless deliveries by default: To prioritize its women delivery partners’ safety, the company will be making late evening deliveries contactless by default.

Extended support from our restaurant partners: ''Many restaurant partners have come forward to ensure access to basic facilities such as separate washrooms for our women partners. We will highlight these restaurants with a #GirlPower tag (tag subject to change) on our app to showcase their support towards an equitable society''

''Furthermore, our women partners will be able to rate restaurants on “ease and safety". We will utilize these ratings to improve working conditions for all our delivery partners, the company said.

SOS button and dedicated support:We are setting up a 24×7 helpline – a dedicated support team for our women partners – which will focus on expediting emergency requests to prioritize safety

Once triggered, the SOS button, on our delivery partner app, will automatically share live location with our on-ground teams, central rider support, and other delivery partners in the vicinity.

''Hopefully, in the near future, people won’t generalise this community as delivery boys, and see them for what they truly are – delivery partners,'' the company added.

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