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RECLAIMING OUR ROADS!

Anonymous accounts of the daily sexism and harassment of women & non-binary delivery couriers.

We raise our voices together to demand that the companies we deliver for:

 

1) Take responsibility for our safety;

2) Improve rider support, with human contact instead of automated messages;

3) Allow us to refuse jobs that take us to unsafe areas without suffering financial detriment;

4) Implement active bystander training for all couriers so we are all prepared to intervene and de-escalate when we witness harassment on the job!

This blog was set up by the women & non-binary committee of the IWGB Couriers Branch to document our experiences of sexism and harassment in the courier industry. The accounts below are just several out of an endless list of degrading, harmful, and terrifying situations we face.

Get in touch to chat or let us know about your own experiences.

 

I got into a hospital lift with about 4 other people, felt totally safe, only for it to gradually empty and the last other occupant (a middle aged man) decided to wait until it was just me and him to strike up a conversation with the classic opener “I cycle too”. Couldn’t care less and even as I show no interest, he persists with his monologue, and when he finally exits, gives me a wink.

I was waiting at a red light, minding my own business, headphones in, sunglasses on, hood up, when a cyclist behind me pulls up next to me and starts talking at me. I get unpleasant vibes but slowly oblige by removing my right headphone to hear what he has to say in case it was important/an emergency. All he wanted to know was what was in my bag, which I did not want to discuss, so I said I don’t want to discuss it and put my head-phone back in. But he just got angry and yelled at me, “it’s not about what you want, it’s about what I WANT!”, at which point I decided to get out of there and cycled away as fast as I could.

I had a taxi driver lean out of his window and yell “fat bitch” at me as he drove passed.

My controller told me over the radio that I should bring a book to work to entertain me when there were no deliveries to do, and that I should read ‘50 shades of grey’ because that is “what women read”.

I was approached by another rider who insisted on “helping” me to use the app (I had been a courier for 3 years at that point). He asked my name, and I told him (my first name). When I got home he’d managed to find me on Facebook and had sent me loads of messages. Whenever I’d see him out working he’d follow me on his moped, shouting my name and trying to start a conversation.

I got into a hospital lift with about 4 other people, felt totally safe, only for it to gradually empty and the last other occupant (a middle aged man) decided to wait until it was just me and him to strike up a conversation with the classic opener “I cycle too”. Couldn’t care less and even as I show no interest, he persists with his monologue, and when he finally exits, gives me a wink.

I've had members of the public shouting “I wouldn’t mind you delivering something to me, love!” as I cycle past.

A customer walked past me (as I was wearing my Deliveroo bag) on the stairs as he was leaving his apartment to go and collect his takeaway from the entrance. I asked him if he’d ordered something and he said yes, so I gave him his food. He said “I just… I didn’t expect you to be… a woman.”

On multiple occasions, men have made a point that as a ‘woman’ I look like a ‘man’ when working.

A male Deliveroo driver started talking to me about where I worked and wondered if there were any jobs. Asked for my personal email about it and I said no here’s the general work email - he was making me feel uncomfortable at the way he was looking at me and the fact be said ‘I looked lovely’. I went to do my delivery (which was out of his site) as I came back to my bike he was still there. He then asked for my number to see if we could go for a drink sometime… I said no and left flustered and feeling uncomfortable. It really affected my mental health for a few days.

I was once dropping off a job in a fairly remote area quite a way from home, a gentleman answered the door and was chatty at first, bordering on flirty, before he grabbed my wrist and asked me if I would go inside and “fuck him”, I stepped back and released his arm before literally running back to my car and locking myself in before driving away

I’ve had multiple workers in restaurants be overly sexual and flirtatious with me when picking up jobs, one whenever I see him proclaims in front of the whole restaurant “when are you coming back to mine babe” or loudly talks about the imaginary sex he’s had with me; again in front of a whole restaurant and staff