Gender pay gap can affect freelancers as much as employees

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2020 | Equal Pay |

When you own your own business, you get to choose how much you charge for services. While you may think that this can give you the power to fight unequal pay, a new study shows that even solo entrepreneurs and freelancers have a gender pay gap.

Business management website HoneyBook examined over 350,000 invoices of freelancers, researching the difference in pay. They found that female workers who set their own prices still make significantly less than their male counterparts.

Despite doing more work, freelancing women still make less

HoneyBook is a business management site that helps freelancers and creative entrepreneurs. For the study, they researched invoices and surveyed 1800 freelancers. They found a 35% difference between what women and men made for each project they took. However, women took on 17% more projects per year than their male counterparts. This extra work still left female freelancers with 11% less annual income than men.

Wage secrecy caused women to undervalue their work

In the survey, many female freelancers admitted they didn’t charge a fair price for their services. By undervaluing themselves, they accepted less pay for equal work. But many also said that wage secrecy played a role in why they didn’t charge higher prices.

Biases against women can affect any business

When women start their own freelancing business, they may hope to escape gender inequalities that can exist in large companies. But as the study shows, biases against women may pervade the gig economy. Even when they have the chance to value their work equally to their male counterparts, women may still feel they need to undersell themselves.

Regardless of who you work for, you may still feel the effects of the gender pay gap. Practices by large companies can bleed into freelance work, causing you to undervalue your work. Without you knowing what your male counterparts make, your wage can end up being less for the same job.


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