International Women’s Day 2022
How freelancing women are contributing to a sustainable future
Happy International Women’s Day
With International Women’s Day on 8th March 2022, the UN Women are recognising the steps women around the world are taking towards a sustainable future.
Looking at the opportunities women and girls have to make a positive impact on the climate and environment is essential. But how? Well, the UN Women says: “without gender equality today, a sustainable future, and an equal future, remains beyond our reach.”
Where Freelancing Comes Into it
Statistics are showing that the number of self-employed women has risen over recent years. In this article, we will be looking into the motivating factors as to why more women are branching out into freelancing and the impacts freelancing has on the environment. Did you know, Revolancer recently announced 0% Commission Fees?
The Freelance Market has Changed
With the pandemic streamlining the process out of necessity, businesses are seeking the adaptability of a freelancer. Therefore, the demand for highly skilled freelancers has increased. So, what does this mean for the freelance market?
This push and pull of supply and demand mean that the freelance market has grown considerably to meet this demand. You can read our article, ‘How the Freelance Market Has Changed Post-Pandemic’, for more information on this topic.
How are These Changes Positive for the Environment
Hiring freelancers can contribute towards a positive environmental impact. To determine how this is the case, we will look at three ways that remote working and freelancing can help. These three ways evaluate the impact on water conservation, waste reduction and greenhouse gas emissions.
Working as a freelancer, or hiring freelancers, can help to conserve water, or save energy on heating or cooling water. With the increasing preference for remote working,
87% of freelancers stated that they had worked from home over the last year. As a result, any water used during their working hours would be provided to a smaller home as opposed to a much larger office.
Impact on Waste
This general rule applies to waste, as well. Working remotely can result in less paper and plastic waste. A freelancer often has lower overheads and purchases very few office items in comparison to a larger scale business and the increasing digitisation of work processes. A further bonus element means that without as much commuting, there are many opportunities for freelancers to eat freshly prepared meals from home, rather than pre-prepared, on-the-go, plastic-wrapped foods.
Thirdly, Freelancers also can contribute to reducing pollution and greenhouse gases by working from home. This would eliminate or drastically reduce the need for an office which in turn reduces energy usage to maintain larger buildings. Secondly, the changes to the nature of freelancing reduce the need to commute, allowing freelancers to develop their skills from home. Both of these adjustments reduce nitrous oxide and carbon emissions, overall contributing to the improvement of air quality.
How is This Specific to Women
Now, you may be thinking these are fairly common aspects of freelancing for both men and women. But statistics are showing that women are now finding access to the freelance market easier than it was in the past. In line with the UN Women’s theme, this is another positive step towards gender equality, and therefore, a sustainable future.
While there are still more male freelancers than women freelancers, there has been a rapid increase in the number of self-employed women over the past year. In fact, since 2008, the number of highly skilled women freelancers has increased by 69%, while the number of men has increased by only 43%.
How are Women Contributing
Why might this be the case? Well, women are choosing to work this way because of the freedom, flexibility and control it provides. As we mentioned before, adapting to the pandemic has also provided women greater access to freelancing otherwise closed off to them.
Often still covering unpaid domestic and childcare responsibilities, working mothers are finding freelancing more attractive as a form of income. This allows them to pursue their careers and utilise their professional skills, while also spending time with their families. Evidence from the statistics shows that the number of freelance working mothers has increased by 79% since 2008, with one in eight self-employed people categorised as working mothers.
A report from the Government Equalities Office has provided an in-depth look into these statistics. They found that the biggest obstacle to progressing women’s roles in the workplace stemmed from a conflict between working culture, work hours and childcare responsibilities.
Contributing also to the gender pay gap, women take a hit to their earnings when in positions like this. Freelancing allows women to set their own rates while also contributing to a more sustainable way of working, not just for themselves, but also for the environment.
What Does This Mean for Women
After reading this you might be thinking: what does this actually mean for women and their futures in the workplace?
Women are now finding freelancing provides a better work-life balance and greater control of hours. Additionally, having the choice of working from home or anywhere in the world is a great bonus, with all of these factors contributing to better job satisfaction. Not to forget, it allows women to contribute towards a positive environmental impact which is essential towards women receiving equal advantages and equal pay.
Before You Go
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer