Male Uber drivers earn more than their female counterparts because they drive faster, new analysis has found.
A study by Stanford and Chicago Universities, commissioned by the company, revealed that the average 2.2 per cent faster speeds of the male drivers accounted for around half of the earnings gap.
Men also earn more because they stay with the company longer, which increases the value of their pay, according to the research, reported by the Daily Telegraph.
It follows months of accusations against the company alleging gender discrimination and workplace sexual harassment, which saw the resignation of co-founder Travis Kalanick as chief executive in June.
Revelations of a gender pay gap in the gig economy are thought to be particularly shocking because the format should be able to overcome the lack of flexibility in traditional workplaces which drives much pay disparity.
Data gathered from the National Highway Travel Survey in the US indicates that a gender gap in driving speeds exists across the population, not just among taxi services, however the Uber payment system was designed to reward faster driving, the researchers said.
The Uber formula pays drivers based on the length of the ride, how long it takes and sometimes a "surge" multiplier which can push up rates.
Drivers who have taken more than 2,500 drips earn an average of £2.15 more per hour than those with fewer than 100 trips.
This also influences the company's gender pay gap because 77 per cent of women quit Uber after after six months compared to 65 per cent of male drivers.
The new study, which examined 74- million Uber trips in the US between January 2015 and March 2017, said this accounted for around one third of the earnings gap.
John List, Professor of Economics at Chicago University, said he had expected Uber's algorithm to favour women.
"I knew that they had worked fewer hours per week so they had a chance to cherry-pick the better hours during the week," he said.