Earlier this year, the founders of Ruby Ribbon, UrbanSitter, and BabyQuip created a multi-company survey of women who gig to learn more about their experiences and expectations. The study included survey results from over 1000 women who perform gig work on at least one of their platforms. These women have plenty of experience in this arena, with a quarter reporting they started handling gig work before the term “gig economy” was even coined.
In 2017, we saw how women across the globe have been using the gig economy as a means of gaining some financial independence. A recent report by the Overseas Development Institute even explored how the gig economy is benefiting Syrian women refugees in Jordan.
Meanwhile, women in the United States have also enjoyed earning money while balancing other responsibilities. In a study published last spring, Hyperwallet examined how American women were experiencing gig work, providing useful insight to gig companies on how they can attract, support, and retain female gig workers.
As we’ve previously reported, the gig economy is an attractive work model for many women who are looking for flexible work arrangements. Despite some drawbacks to gig work (including a lack of job security, benefits and paid leave), recent data indicates that women are flocking to gig jobs in droves. Earlier this month, Hyperwallet released the results of its survey of 2,000 female gig workers in the United States. The survey results provide an interesting perspective as to the average female gig worker, including her motivations for leaving the traditional workforce and the long-term potential for gig work.
For women, if you’re not leaning in at work, you’re leaning out, which could prove a career mistake (a concept introduced by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg). But if you’re leaning in, some women feel that they might tip over as they try to balance the demands of career and family, particularly in demanding industries, like finance, law, and technology. The gig economy seems to offer a third option in the form of freelance or contract work. And, according to studies, the number of women who embrace this work model surpasses the number of men.
Earlier this year, Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally, announced the formation of a new working group, comprised of Ms. McSally and several of her Republican colleagues, called the “Working Group on Women in the 21st Century Workforce.” By way of background, McSally spent 26 years in the U.S. Air Force before being elected to Congress. While in the Air Force, McSally was the first woman to fly in combat, as well as the first to command a fighter squad in combat.