Avalyn Kasahara, Membership Director at Future Strategy Club, comments on the future of freelancing being female and the importance of women in freelance work.
The past year has been challenging for most, however, the gender divide of the UK workforce navigating these challenges is far from balanced. With studies showing that the fall out effects of COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women’s lives, both personally and professionally. Data by the Women’s Budget Group has revealed that self-employed women are now less likely than men to benefit from the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with just 60% of eligible women claiming SEISS, compared to 68% of eligible men. This is despite women making up 34.8% of self-employed workers today.
This data follows a tumultuous year where women have also been at a significantly higher risk of job loss and furlough, have struggled with higher levels of anxiety and depression and have also taken on more hours each week devoted to unpaid childcare and unpaid non-developmental care- 64% more than men.
The major disparity in how COVID-19 continues to impact men and women is clear, with women remaining increasingly vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic effects. Despite this new data, many are still looking towards alternative ways to work, with 58% of women now say they would consider starting a business or finding freelance work.
This makes the rise of co-agencies such as Future Strategy Club essential right now, by providing a helping hand to those struggling to navigate through uncertainty. Future Strategy Club supports women at every stage of their freelancing career, ensuring equal pay and opportunities, alongside a no-tolerance policy for gender bias.
Avalyn Kasahara, Membership Director at Future Strategy Club, comments on the future of freelancing being female and the importance of women in freelance work:
“This year has been particularly tough for women, with many suffering from the gendered economic impact of COVID-19. Nevertheless, more women are looking towards starting their own business or beginning freelance work. Freelancing empowers women to gain control of their careers by becoming their own boss.
Freelancers are a vital part of our economy, with more than five million self-employed people in the UK, representing 15.3% of workers. Female freelance talent is particularly important at the moment, with COVID-19 meaning many women are looking towards a new way to work.
At Future Strategy Club, we are working to make freelancing more accessible at every stage of a career, whether that be after a long period of full-time work or straight out of university. There needs to be support for these individuals and we hope to be able to provide this with equal pay and opportunities for every female freelance member.”