MUMBAI: Even as the white-collar gig economy (temporary positions) grew at an accelerated pace post COVID-19, a survey has revealed that more men compared to women are freelancing since the onset of the pandemic.
The data from freelance platform Flexing It, which witnessed 200 per cent growth in the total number of freelancers registering post COVID-19, found that women accounted for less than 30 per cent of new registrations and only 20 per cent of the platform’s active talent pool.
While Flexing It survey found that when women do choose to freelance, they are highly successful at leveraging the flexibility offered by freelance work, however, independent work remains a greatly underleveraged career strategy overall for women.
Flexing It is a platform that connects organisations to consultants and expertise on an ‘on demand’ basis to an independent talent pool of over 70,000 consultants.
The survey also revealed that women in freelancing earn less than men and the gender pay gap increases as experience levels rise with women consultants, who quote lower fees from men for the same skill and experience levels.
According to data from the platform, the average income of women in freelancing is lower than that of men by 35 per cent. Though the average compensation of women is significantly lower than that of men, it grows at a relatively higher rate than that of men until 20 years of experience, it stated.
However, the income of women stagnates at this point while that of men continues to grow post 20 years of experience, while the average income of men rose by 20 per cent while that of women remained the same, it added.
The survey further revealed that almost a quarter of women registering on the platform since the onset of COVID are for Human Resource, consultants, marketing and strategy consultants IT and professional services or consulting are the top industries from which women are registering during the pandemic, it added.
The survey also found that almost 40 per cent of the women freelancers registering since the onset of COVID have between 10-20 years of experience, while almost 40 per cent of the men registering in the same period have over 20 years of experience.