IPSE celebrates International Women’s Day

Wednesday 8 March 2017

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) is celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th) by discussing the continued growth of women in the self-employed sector. 

The day is being commemorated with a variety of events across the globe that highlight the outstanding contributions women make in the political, social and economic fields. 

Recent research shows that the number of female freelancers jumped by 55 per cent between 2008 and 2016, which is markedly higher than the 36 per cent growth recorded for males. 

The rise represents almost double the overall increase in freelancers as a whole, showing the unbelievably positive impact women have on the world. 

Suneeta Johal, IPSE head of research, education and training, said: “It is heartening to see that so many women are embarking on freelance careers. The wider self-employed workforce has seen exponential growth in recent years and it is women who are driving this.”

Ms Johal added that women across the world are understanding that factors such as childbirth are no longer a major obstacle for employers. 

She emphasised that 15 per cent of all freelancers are mothers, which highlights the good work/life balance that comes with self-employment. The number of mothers working freelance between 2008 and 2016 jumped by 79 per cent to a total of 302,000. 

Women are now prospering because they understand that traditional nine-to-five jobs are starting to become redundant as freelance options become more beneficial. 

IPSE also spoke to some female freelancers for their thoughts on being self-employed. 

Kelly Gillmour-Grassam, director of Making You Content, explained that many young women are choosing self-employment as a strong alternative to graduate roles. 

She noted that contracting gives women freedom and creativity to create their own future and enter a community that provides both support and growth opportunities. 

Caitlin McEvoy, freelance designer and founder of District23, commented on her experiences in freelance work, explaining that contracting breaks down the glass ceiling that exists in the corporate business sector. 

It’s clear that great opportunities await female contractors, with many benefits compared to traditional full-time hours. Flexible hours, freedom over projects and other client work makes the self-employed sector especially appealing. 

While the admin work associated with contracting can be discouraging, specialist contractor and freelancer accountants will take away the admin headache allowing freelancers to simply focus on their projects.

By Victoria McDonnell

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