7th June 2021

Freelancer gender pay: Increasing agency revenue through levelling up


The increasing effort to overcome inequality in all shapes and forms

Recent years have seen a huge emphasis on addressing inequality. The current UK government’s mantra of ‘levelling up’ has been applied to such pronounced inequalities as the North-South economic divide in the UK.

There are also echoes of levelling up in global initiatives, such as the calling out of predatory sexual behaviour through the #MeToo movement; and the rise of LGBT activism and extended versions of the acronym that broaden the definitions of sexual self-identification.

In the workplace, the senior role ‘glass ceiling’ and gender pay gaps have long been the topic of debate. Cause and effects have been attributed to such factors as men valuing themselves more highly; women feeling they are not aggressive or assertive enough for senior roles; and employers fearing maternity career breaks undermine the investment they may make in the development and promotion of women in senior roles.

This reportage on the Salary Survey 2021 from respected recruitment brand Major Players has revealed the gender pay gap in the digital marketing, creative & tech sectors of the freelance jobs market.

Despite the havoc caused by COVID-19, the survey data showed more women are entering the digital, marketing and creative industry than men. They are also earning more than men at entry and mid-level. However, above the £50,000 salary band, men are 3 times more likely to earn in excess of £100,000. It seems that in the freelance and contracting space, the glass ceiling is firmly in place!

Levelling up inequality to drive increased agency revenues

The survey shows, that on average, women earn £44 less in freelance day rates. However, it is not just women who are being valued less than men. The data also showed that regardless of gender, some BAME candidates were also significantly behind in the earnings league table.

One of the key factors identified in the gender gap is the onus on women to take the lead in childcare and domestic duties, even in a two-income household. According to one IT tech recruitment leader, the lack of institutionalised flexible and remote working created a retention issue for female workers; quite simply females need to divide their work and personal time in ways other than the conventional nine-to-five.

Even though the full effects of Covid on society have yet to become clear, it is universally accepted that companies are now fully engaged with the benefits of flexible and remote working. The pandemic has led to the widescale adoption of telecommuting and time-shifted work patterns to suit the needs of businesses and workers.

Cloud technologies and specialised Line-of-Business apps and platforms are now in widespread use in practically every sector of the economy. Cloud-enabled Software-as-a-Service applications like ETZ have truly come into their own, allowing many organisations to achieve near business-as-usual operations.

Certainly, when it comes to women in the IT sector, technology enablement is likely to be instrumental in levelling up the gender balance, and perhaps even the pay gap. Agencies are also set to be winners by generating more agency income from securing increased rates for women freelancers, and other groups that are unequally paid for the same work.

Pretty much always business-as-usual for agencies with ETZ!

Throughout the pandemic ETZ has enabled recruiters to seamlessly carry out the key agency back office activity of timesheet processing and client invoicing. In-depth integrations also kept agency worker payments and accounting functioning correctly as well.

To find out more about how we help agencies like yours to streamline back office operations and to enable remote working to overcome seriously disruptive events call us on 0800 311 2266 or book a demo.

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