When it comes to skills and dedication on their work, there truly can be no difference between males and female freelancers. Both sexes work equally as hard and try to offer professional services to their clients.
The only difference that can be spotted between the two is in regards to their payments. Gender-based wage discrimination has been affecting women for many years and it seems like the freelancing world is no different than any of the traditional business settings.
The difference in rates
Freelancers have the advantage of being their own bosses and that means that most of the time, they can set their own rates when it comes to their payments. There are currently many reports that are suggesting that the pay gap between male and female freelancers can even reach up to 40 per cent.
The only times when freelancers are getting a fixed rate is when they chose to work for translation or writing companies. In these cases, the companies have fixed rates that they pay their freelancers and many times, especially in the translation business, translators are paid fixed prices per pages that they translate. This leaves no space for discrimination and offers the same type of payment to both genders.
On the other hand, it is known for a fact that women make about 54% of what men earn for similar work around the world. This is something that can’t be easily explained if we take into consideration the number of women that start working for themselves in the last few years and that most if not all of these women have academic qualifications similar to the male freelancers working in similar industries.
Sectors which discriminate between the two genders
It is true that the actual wage gap is greatly influenced based on the industry that a freelancer choses to work in. In the creative industries, for example, men usually earn about £319 for an average day, £15 more than women would get paid while being in the same position, according to research by YunoJuno.
On the other hand, research by the same organization has shown that women tend to earn a better income when it comes to strategy and client service roles. Still, men’s wages can be up to £50 more in niches such as design, UX and film.
When it comes to comparing how much a woman makes in regards to a male dollar, you would be surprised to know that the differences are great. As it was mentioned earlier, men in the creative niches ear a lot more than women doing the same professions. Female photographers only earn 60 cents every time a man earns a dollar and in cinematography things are slightly better, as women earn 88 cents.
A study by Payoneer has proven that women earn only 75% of men’s hourly rate and the only industry where you can see a smaller difference in regards to female payments is in design and multimedia, where women actually earn 95% of what men do.
Are women setting themselves up for a smaller wage?
In many cases, studies have shown that women are the ones who are actually setting their own rates a lot lower than the males in the same positions do. One of the first things that are asked when applying for a job is the person’s rate and you would be probably surprised to know that in many cases women don’t know how much they are worth and set their rates far lower than their male competitors.
What this essentially shows is that there seems to be a great problem with women’s confidence and knowledge about their payments and work. Many women seem to be hesitant to ask for more money when they are applying for a position as they are afraid that they might lose the job and be considered too expensive.
Men on the other hand show a lot more confidence and are not afraid to ask for exactly how much they want to be paid. They know that the best thing they can do is ask for however much they believe that their services are worth and if their potential employers has a problem with their rates, they are always willing to negotiate.
What you can take away from this is that it is always good to do some research and find out exactly what your male competitors are earning for the same amount of work. No matter how much pressure a company is putting on you, you should always price yourself equally to the males that are applying for the same position and not settle for anything less than what you deserve.
The pressure to work more for less
Every company on the market wishes to find freelancers at the lowest rates that will be able to provide them with the best services. In many cases, this is where women get trapped and don’t have the chance to ask for more. The pressure to work more for less is real in the freelance industry and the problem is that many times, not accepting a job with these terms can leave you unemployed for a while.
This tactic seems to be aiming at women, who always seem to be less confident than men and will have a harder time negotiating for their rates in fear of being unemployed. The problem here is that this is an ongoing situation that doesn’t help women go after their rights for a better payment and degrades their abilities and qualifications, leaving them to do complex tasks for half the money.
The best thing you can do in this situation is do your research and work on your negotiation skills. If you come across a job that isn’t willing to pay you as much as you know you deserve, then it is not worth applying for. The more you stand up for yourself and for your value, the better this situation is going to become.
The payment gender gap is real in every form of employment
While women who work as freelancers tend to actually make more than those who work regular everyday jobs, the differences between their payment and their male competitors is great. Not only are women getting paid less on the regular, but they have to also compete with male freelancers from all around the world if they wish to get a job that pays decently.
The only way to see a difference in this phenomenon is for all women freelancers to work together and close the gender income gap by themselves. The best advice for this fight is to never underestimate yourself and your abilities and to always do your research on the value of your services before applying for a position.
What is your opinion about the gender income gap in freelancing?