Is the gig economy empowering women ?

Be it a consulting job, driving an uber or working on freelance assignments, these jobs account for a significant share of the women workforce. As per Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, more than 1 in 10 women rely on gig work as their primary source of income.

“The gig economy is an ecosystem that caters to workers who are employed or unemployed so that they earn income by working part-time. The workers are known as gigs.”

With the world going digital, the impact of technology and innovation can be seen across all sectors of the economy. It has even had a significant impact on encouraging women’s presence and participation across technology-enabled platforms. The tech-enabled platforms enable women to take up part-time jobs and use their time effectively. With the flexibility in the working style, women can pick up the service they are skilled at and schedule their work according to their availability. Here is some key factor that motivates women to take up gig work:

  • The need for additional income
  • Freedom to take decisions and being independent
  • Building a bright future for family and household
  • Creating self-identity and carving a social status
  • The need to work part-time around other family obligations
  • Encouragement from the success stories of their peers .

While using digital platforms for work, women face challenges such as availability of time, experience to job opportunities, security concerns, low earnings, and more. To deal with these challenges, women workers do not get sufficient work and so they opt to drop out from the digital gig platforms.

So how to encourage women participation in the digital gig economy?

There are multiple measures that can be taken into consideration to address the challenges faced by women and hence encourage them for continued participation on the platforms. To resolve the issues, some platform owners have been very proactive.

For accounting intermittent availability of women workers, there is a system that allows workers to show online when they are available. This is there so that the gig work platform doesn’t eliminate women based on their ratings when they are not available. This will possibly minimize the negative comments based on the level of experience women workers holds.

Gig platforms even provide an option for women workers to choose whom they would like to serve their services or from whom they would receive services. The platform owners have implemented similar pricing for both men and women for specific services. This is to ensure that workers get adequate to pay for the work they do. The gig platform owners can also put algorithms that shows uniform pricing so that the users can choose a gig worker based on their ratings and not their gender.

The platforms should aim to embed measures that allow customers to provide quality of service reviews to rate workers on the gig platform. The higher ratings of the women gig workers should justify higher pricing, rather than sticking to the standard platform pricing.

Increased women participation in the gig economy leads to women empowerment .

Participation of women in the digital gig economy brings employment opportunities and provides women with a source of income. Hence, making them independent. It creates a digital footprint of the work that is done by women gig workers and builds a strong financial record.

With the financial records data generated, this data can be used by financial institutions to design the products and services led by research and analysis. This enhances women’s financial management and risk mitigation.

“Women who are financially independent take better and more powerful decisions- hence boosting women’s economic empowerment. Women gig workers harness the gig economy for good.”

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