New research by PeoplePerHour reveals that for freelancers at least, the gender pay gap is narrowing.

The pay gap between male and female freelance workers is now at an all-time low of just 2.3%, or £0.45 per hour in real terms. With the national gender pay gap remaining at a staggering 14%, this is incredibly positive news for freelancers. 

With more than 1.5 million registered users, the UK’s leading freelance marketplace was able to establish an average hourly rate for freelancers across the board over the past five years. In terms of progression, when the figures for 2019 were taken in isolation there is just a 0.6% discrepancy between the genders, £17.67 per hour for female freelancers and £17.77 for their male counterparts. 

And while there are still some major discrepancies, where male workers outstrip female freelancers in the same field – men who specialise in tutorials, for instance, command an average of 33.5% more than women – in other categories the bias is towards women. In fact, one of the most popular categories in the PeoplePerHour marketplace – videography – is dominated by women, who can expect an average hourly rate of £27.97. Men in the same field typically earn £26.00 – that’s 7.6% less. 

The top five areas in which female freelancers earn more than men

Profession Percentage gap in pay*
Translation  15%
Social Media  13%
Marketing & PR  8%
Videography 8%
Design  2% 

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour, explains:

‘The gap between male and female freelance workers has been lower than the national average for some time now. Whether this is due to female freelancers having the confidence to claim their due, or to other factors is unknown. But to have the gap drop down to just £0.10 per hour in 2019 is incredible. 

‘The female workforce is enormously important to the economy. And yet women remain undervalued in most sectors of employment. We’ve seen it in the news this month, with the story of the BBC’s Samira Ahmed, where a highly educated, trained professional was being paid between 50% and 33% less than male colleagues. It’s easy to single the BBC out here because it’s such a high-profile organisation. But the truth is that this behaviour is endemic because – for some bizarre reason – until recently, it was acceptable. 

‘Freelance women, men and – importantly – the people who make use of their services – understand the senselessness of that status quo. And it looks like they’re doing something to change it.’