There’s a new playing field where women have taken a commanding lead over their male counterparts: the freelance sector.
As we previously reported, the market for contract workers is growing rapidly, and paying better. Over the past year, paychecks for content writers increased 151%, and earnings for web designers grew 205%.
Women’s paychecks are growing faster than men’s, Rich Pearson, Elance’s chief marketing officer, told Forbes. Earnings for female freelancers grow at an average of 50% per year, while men lag behind with increases of about 40% per year.
New research conducted by Elance, an online freelance marketplace, finds that 74% of women report that access to freelance work that can be done remotely gives them a leg up in the technology field that they wouldn’t have if they worked in a traditional office setting.
At first glance, the advantages of freelance work for women may seem like old hat; working when they can and not having to show up at an office every day makes it easier for women to balance their careers and their roles as wives and mothers. However, 65% of women said that they benefited from working online because they felt that they were offered opportunities that challenged them and improved their skills.
Expectations for more contract work for women remain high. 80% of women surveyed by Elance said they are optimistic about the future success of women in technology. And that’s a good sign that momentum is building for even more gains for women in the freelance sector.