Do female freelancers underprice themselves?

Posted 8th December 2017 in For Businesses For Workers

With a strong increase in women opting to work as freelancers there are concerns that many females are underpricing themselves when compared to male counterparts.

The Independent reports recent research shows the gender pay gap within the self-employed sector is around 40 per cent. While some of the causes are similar to that seen in salaried work, there are fears it could be because female freelancers are not confident in setting day rates.

According to a study by the Pensions Policy Institute, women account for 97 per cent of the net increase in self-employed workers over the past year, so their rates may have a significant impact across the sector.

YunoJuno found men request an average day rate of £319 within the creative industries – £15 higher than the average for a female contractor.

An unnamed freelance writer told the Independent she was aware she was undercharging for her work, but felt it was vital in order to secure jobs.

“I still find invoicing a very emotional process. I suffer guilt, self-doubt, anxiety. I always invoice late, and if I am working with a client on a day rate basis, I often under-invoice. Sometimes I prepare invoices not based on hours worked, but on how much budget I think the client has, and how I rate my own self-worth,” she explained.

Corrinne Mills of coaching firm Personal Career Management stressed contractors need to have the confidence to set rates that reflect their skills and by doing so will be able to develop a more equal relationship with clients.

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