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Bad news: The gender pay gap is even worse for freelancers

On average, women charge significantly less than men for similar types of freelance work, according to a new study.

Bad news: The gender pay gap is even worse for freelancers
[Source Images: iStock]

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

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  • On average, men charge $68.58 an 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 $33 more per hour on average than women. However, the largest job-specific pay gap was in engineering: Male DevOps engineers charged a whopping $70.90 per hour more than women.
  • Freelancers working in design and creative fields had fairly equitable pay: The average difference was only $2.81 per hour.
  • Freelance writers actually had the smallest pay gap of about $1 per hour, with a few notable exceptions. Female copywriters actually charge an average of $6.29 per hour (11%) more than men. However, the pay gap was very real for business writers. Male business writers charge an average of $91.33 per hour, compared to women who charge $67.72 per hour.

As Fast Company reported earlier this year, half of the entire U.S. workforce is expected to be freelance by 2027.

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