While the economy, aided by freelancers and umbrella company contractors, has recovered, not everyone’s reaping the full rewards of the new financial stability.
In fact, it turns out that there’s actually quite a freelancer pay gap that’s widening, and it’s along gender lines in particular. The Fawcett society, a women’s rights group, recently released findings that 50 per cent of women surveyed felt their financial fortunes were worse today than back at the inception of the credit crisis and resultant economic downturn in 2008. Not only that but in the past five years more than 825,000 women have moved into positions that were classified as insecure and low-paying.
For every £1 earned by a male worker – including freelancers and contractors – women were found to only make around 81p. If you ask me this is inherently unfair and needs to be addressed – there’s no reason for women to be paid less than men if they both possess identical skill sets and measures of experience. Thankfully there was one bright spot in this whole report, and that’s the fact that more than 370,000 women have joined the self-employment sector from 2008, making it obvious that female contract workers are not just a force to be reckoned with but a major contributor to the economic recovery, especially considering how self-employed Brits and other small business owners have been working tirelessly for quite literally years now in order to put the British economy back on an even keel.
Maybe it’s just me but I feel like the contributions of female workers, especially female freelancers, should be acknowledged much more deeply than they are. The best way this should happen isn’t in some empty way such as a parade down High Street but in more tangible rewards, such as more equitable pay. I don’t think this is such a terrible thing in the long run, though I don’t know how in the world such a plan could be implemented – it’s not like we can force employers into paying women more. Well, we could try that through legislation but trying to get something like that signed into law would be only slightly harder than trying to pass a Vauxhall Astra through the eye of a needle.