The Ugly Gender Wage Gap In Freelancing (And How Female Freelancers Can Earn More)

By: JML Law | October 22, 2018.
The Ugly Gender Wage Gap In Freelancing (And How Female Freelancers Can Earn More)

You cannot surprise anyone with the gender wage gap in the U.S. nowadays, but are female freelancers facing the pay gap as well? Turns out, the gender wage gap in freelance America is even more significant than that in corporate America. Yes, you have read that right.

The gender wage gap in corporate America has narrowed over the past few years and continues to get smaller each year. But that is not the case for freelancers.

Fact #1: In 2015, a Pew Research study found that women were paid 83 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. In 2018, the Salary Survey showed that women were paid 87 percent of what men earn.

Fact #2: More interestingly, according to the World Economic Forum and its 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, women will not be able to achieve wage parity sooner than in 2186.

Gender wage gap in freelancing

Sounds very depressing, doesn’t it? “Well, the gender wage gap is even worse in freelancing,” says our Los Angeles discrimination attorney at JML Law. Even though freelancers work for themselves, and can charge whatever they want, the issue of the pay gap still remains.

A study by Honeybook, a popular client management platform, analyzed more than 200,000 invoices from freelance women and men. The analysis concluded that female freelance earn 32 percent less than what male freelancers make for the same job in the creative economy.

To put this into a dollar figure, women who earn a living as freelancers make less than $31,000 a year, while their male counterparts earn more than $45,400.

How bad is the freelance gender pay inequity

Of more than 3,000 creative entrepreneurs, who were polled as part of the study, 63 percent said they believed women and men were paid equally in creative jobs. But if you look at the figures, you will notice that the gender wage pay in the freelance world is very disturbing and persistent.

For example, female photographs earn 60 cents to the male dollar, while event planners make 76 cents on the male dollar. Interestingly, the study showed that a staggering more than 37 percent of female freelancers earn less than $9 per hour. Only 20 percent of their male counterparts earn as much. At the same time, only about 7 percent of female freelancers make more than $50 an hour. Meanwhile, nearly 20 percent of male freelancers in America earn more than $50 an hour.

“From the standpoint of an annual revenue standpoint, only 20 percent of female freelancers and more than 42 percent of male freelancers earn more than $50,000 per year,” concludes our experienced discrimination attorney in Los Angeles who has analyzed the findings of the study. If you want to dig deeper, only eight percent of female freelancers and 20 percent of their male counterparts make more than $80,000 per year.

How to earn more as a female freelancer

But here’s the deal: while female workers in corporate America often have no power over how much they earn, most female freelancers (who truly work for themselves) do have that power. There are quite a few simple things female freelancers can do to start earning as much as male freelancers do (or even more!).

Our Los Angeles discrimination attorney from JML Law has outlined the following tips for women who earn a living as freelancers:

  • Do not be afraid to charge what your male counterparts charge (for this, you might want to research the rate male freelancers charge in your specific industry and niche). Or just ask around.
  • Do not settle for less just to get this particular client. If one of your clients refused to pay you more after you provided him or her with your rates or ask for a pay raise, do not settle for less. There are plenty of other clients in the field.
  • Never stop learning and improving. The greatest thing about being a freelancer is that you can constantly improve in your niche and open new opportunities along your path. And as you improve and are capable of offering higher-quality services to your clients, do not be afraid to ask them to increase your pay.

That’s about it. If you want to talk about discrimination and the gender wage gap, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at JML Law. Call our offices at 818-610-8800.

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