Freelance women charge less than men for similar work

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According to Pew Research, women earn on average less than 16% of what men earn. However, according to new research from ZenBusiness, an organization that helps people start and run their own businesses, the gender pay gap is significantly more dramatic for the self-employed workforce. ZenBusiness analyzed data from 6,000 freelancers on Upwork. Here are some of the key findings of the study:

  • On average, men charge $68.58 per hour and women $46.30 for similar work, a difference of 48%.
  • The gap varied by industry. The industry with the largest overall pay gap was accounting and consulting: men charged an average of $33 more per hour than women. However, the largest job-specific pay gap was in engineering: Male DevOps engineers charged $70.90 per hour more than females.
  • Freelancers working in design and creative fields had fairly fair pay: the average difference was just $2.81 an hour.
  • Freelance writers actually had the smallest pay gap of around $1 an hour, with a few notable exceptions. Copywriters charge an average of $6.29 per hour (11%) more than men. However, the pay gap was real for business writers. Male business writers charge an average of $91.33 per hour, compared to females who charge $67.72 per hour.

As fast company reported earlier this year, half of the entire US workforce is expected to be self-employed by 2027.

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