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Latest research has shown that there is a 43% gender pay gap among the self-employed with men earning more – significantly higher than the 17% for employees.

According to the IPSE, this is likely to be due to self-employed women undervaluing themselves and therefore charging a lower day rate.

The self-employed body said that the gender pay gap has a knock-on effect for the financial well-being of female contractors. For example, the findings show that 49% of them worry most or all of the time about the financial circumstances compared to just 37% of men.

Interestingly, the data also found that 54% of self-employed men who applied for mortgages succeeded in doing so, however, for women this figure was just 46%.

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Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher at IPSE (the Association of Independent Freelancers and the Self-Employed), explained, “Much has been said about the gender pay gap among employees, but the gender pay gap among the self-employed is actually much bigger. This seems to be because self-employed women are undervaluing themselves and not charging the high rates of their male counterparts.

“This has shocking knock-on effects for the overall financial wellbeing and mental health of women in self-employment. They are more worried about their finances and their savings and they are less able to access vital financial support like mortgages and pensions.

“One essential way the government and industry can drive down this shocking gender pay gap is by opening up training and mentoring for self-employed women. With so many women turning to the freedom and flexibility of self-employment – so many that they are actually driving the growth of the sector – it’s vital that they get the support they need to make a success of this way of working.”

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