STUDY: 86 percent of female gig workers believe they can earn equal pay for equal work

Hyperwallet survey of 2,000 US-based female gig workers documents career paths, financial needs, and opportunities for long-term success 

For women in the workplace, equal work doesn’t always lead to equal pay. But according to the majority of US-based female gig workers, they may finally be able to level the playing field. New research from Hyperwallet, released on Equal Pay Day, reveals that 86 percent of female gig workers view gig work as their chance to turn equal pay into reality. Only 41 percent of women in the gig economy agree that traditional 9-to-5 jobs offer the same opportunity.

In their latest study, “The Future of Gig Work is Female,” Hyperwallet, a leading global payouts provider to millions of small businesses and individual freelancers, surveyed 2,000 US-based female gig workers to gain insights into the behaviors and career ambitions of women in the gig economy.

“Today’s workers want freedom and flexibility,” said Brent Warrington, CEO of Hyperwallet. “The rise of the gig economy has empowered them to earn a living on their terms, from when and how they work to when and how they’re paid. As more businesses adapt to the gig model, all gig workers will experience even more earning opportunities.”

Top findings from “The Future of Gig Work is Female” study include:

Women are demonstrating a growing affinity for gig work

Gig work has only recently grown in popularity among women. In fact, roughly 60 percent of the women surveyed have been doing gig work for less than two years, and only 13 percent have done gig work for more than five years. This relative inexperience, however, isn’t driving women away from the gig economy. About 9 out of 10 respondents plan on doing gig work for more than a year. Better yet, in an ideal world, 61 percent of women would choose to make gig work their full-time career. This number jumps to 68 percent for professional freelance workers, but falls to 52 percent for ride-sharing workers.

The willingness to transition from a traditional 9-to-5 job to a career in the gig economy is a greater example of changing employee expectations. In most cases, however, a full-time job or a spouse’s income still supplements the income of female gig workers. More than 40 percent of respondents rely on their full-time job as an additional source of income while 59 percent depend on their spouse.

Women are likely to recommend gig work to their friends

Women who want more control over their careers turn to gig work – and they often advise their friends to do the same. Nearly 70 percent of female gig workers have at least a few friends in the gig economy, and almost all of them (90 percent) would recommend gig work to their female friends who aren’t already involved in gig work.

When it comes to their children pursuing gig work, however, women are far less confident. More than half (57 percent) of respondents would not wish for their children to pursue a career in the gig economy.

Ride-sharing workers are least likely to want their children to pursue a career in the gig economy – 63 percent would not recommend it – while home-sharing workers are most likely – 54 percent would recommend a career in the gig economy, reinforcing the questions facing gig companies today about what they must do to sustain and grow the workforce moving forward.

Gig economy delivers unmatched flexibility

Whether they’re hoping to assert more control over their career or re-enter the workforce, the gig economy provides women from all walks of life with a degree of flexibility that few traditional career paths can. This benefit certainly hasn’t been lost on female gig workers. More than 96 percent of respondents rated flexible hours as the number one benefit of gig work.

Control over earning potential (40 percent) and more personal time than a traditional career (39 percent) rounded out the list of top three gig work benefits.

Growing demand for such benefits among women has made one thing clear – the modern workplace is changing. Rather than commuting to and from traditional offices, gig workers can now earn when and where they want.

Inconsistent income and lack of benefits trouble female gig workers

As with any career path, gig work still has its drawbacks. More than 90 percent of respondents ranked inconsistent income among their top three shortcomings, followed closely by a lack of benefits (88 percent) and the absence of structure or a career path (46 percent). Though women may wish to assume greater control over their careers, these drawbacks are often enough to keep them from pursuing gig work.

Download a full copy of, “The Future of Gig Work is Female” study.

Methodology

“The Future of Gig Work is Female” is a study of 2,000 US-based female gig workers. The data was gathered and distributed in Q1 2017. The study examines women’s journeys in the gig economy while offering insights into relevant issues and challenges – wage disparity, availability of benefits, financial stability, and even social support and public perceptions of female gig workers.

Hyperwallet’s payout platform provides growing organizations with a frictionless, transparent, and reliable way to manage payments and enhance the payee’s experience almost anywhere in the world. Trusted by enterprise, ecommerce, and on-demand platforms, Hyperwallet makes it easy to pay up to 7 billion people in a singular payment environment. Put your payees in control with enhanced financial management tools, integrated payment tracking technology, and user-friendly compliance and identity verification. Hyperwallet has offices in San Francisco, Austin, London, and Vancouver.