Women often face a very different path than men when it comes to today’s workplaces. Often in our society, the working life of women changes dramatically after significant life events such as the birth of a child, a family member becoming ill, or the death of a parent. Fortunately, the gig economy has created a new world of opportunity for women due to several factors.
First and foremost, this new way of doing business allows women more flexibility and freedom in their work. Women who were previously kept out of the workforce because they were not able to work traditional 9-5 jobs are now able to create a work schedule that works for them.
Second, as a result of this new “work from anywhere” culture, more women can participate in the workforce. This increase in the number of women in the workplace will provide employers with greater access to previously untapped talent and be a boon to both companies and women workers.
Third, gig work provides women with new opportunities to further develop their work skills and to keep their employment history current and relevant. So often, women kept out of the workforce because they are not able to work traditional 9-5 jobs have a difficult time re-entering the workforce because their skills and work experience are outdated. Now, women can keep their job skills and resumes current by performing work that fits with their schedule.
Finally, “gigging” has boosted pay parity between men and women. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average gender pay gap for full-time workers in the United States is about 20%. In other words, women working full-time jobs earn 80% as much as their male colleagues for the same work. The gender pay gap is not new and has been examined and debated in the public for many decades. As long ago as 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed making it illegal to pay women lower rates for equal work. Unfortunately, since 1963, the gender pay gap for full-time workers in the United States has not radically changed.
What these statistics don’t include, however, is pay equity data for gig workers. According to Gali Arnon, Chief Marketing Officer of Fiverr, her company crunched the numbers on the pay equity data for gig workers and the results are very encouraging for women. Fiverr’s research shows that there is only a .4% difference between what female and male freelancers earn per project. Put simply, for every $100 a female makes, a male makes $100.04. This is much more favorable than the staggering 20% difference that exists in the corporate world. Fiverr also reported that women receive more freelance work than men, causing them to have higher overall earnings.
While there is still significant ground to cover to ensure women and men have equal footing in the workplace, the gig economy model provides many benefits to women. Hopefully, these benefits will continue as the corporate world, the legislature, and the courts all race to catch up with the ever-changing gig economy landscape.