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Women earn up to 37% less than men in the gig economy

  • March 29 2022
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Women earn up to 37% less than men in the gig economy

By Jon Bragg
March 29 2022

A report commissioned by the Victorian government has examined inequality in the on-demand economy.

women gig economy

Women earn up to 37% less than men in the gig economy

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  • March 29 2022
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A report commissioned by the Victorian government has examined inequality in the on-demand economy.

women gig economy

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have found that men earn $2.67 more per hour than women on average in gig economy roles.

The Gendered Dimensions of Digital Platform Work report commissioned by the Victorian government summarised local and international studies on gender and digital platform work and identified a gender pay gap of between 10 and 37 per cent for gig economy workers.

“Digital platform work in Australia and internationally, as demonstrated by empirical research reported in this review, can both reproduce and exacerbate existing gender inequalities in work, just as it can create new modes of gender inequality,” the report said.

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According to the report, females were more likely than males to earn less than $40,000 doing digital platform work each year, while males were more likely to earn over $100,000.

Female gig economy workers were also found to be significantly more likely to earn under $40,000 in their work outside of digital platforms and were more likely to work on a part-time, casual or a fixed-term contract basis.

“The pay gap between men and women remains an issue across almost every sector, and the gig economy is no different,” said Victorian Minister for Women, Gabrielle Williams.

“Gig economy companies must do more to address the drivers of gender inequality in the workplace.”

The researchers said that women are half as likely to be engaged in work on digital platforms than men in Australia and also participate less frequently than men.

“Globally, women are under-represented in the types of digital platform work outside traditional feminised areas, such as transport and food delivery,” the report said.

“Men are also more likely to undertake digital platform work that involves software development and technology, and/or skilled trade work at higher rates than women. These patterns are replicated in Australia.

“In contrast, women are more likely to participate in historically feminised work such as clerical and data entry, sales and marketing support, writing and translation, and care work.”

Additionally, the researchers found that the caring responsibilities of women restricted the time available to work on digital platforms, the timeliness of task completion and the volume of work able to be completed, all of which may result in lower pay.

Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas said the Victorian government was working to improve conditions in the state.

“The gig economy can be a winner for workers, but for too many people – including many women – platform work can fail them on the test of fairness,” he said.

Women earn up to 37% less than men in the gig economy
women gig economy
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