Gender equality in the workplace has been a widely talked about topic across the media, government and industry for many years now. However, discussions have almost exclusively focused on employees. At IPSE, we're championing the positive experiences of women in self-employment whilst also campaigning for action to reduce the gender pay gap and improve access to training and maternity benefits.
The number of solo self-employed women in the UK has increased by 59 per cent since 2008, with freelance women now comprising almost half (46%) of the freelance workforce. We also know that over two in five women (44%) have been in self-employment for over nine years, proving self-employment offers a long-term career for many women. In spite of self-employment being a popular route for many women, there are still many obstacles including inadequate Maternity Allowance for working mothers, a rising cost of childcare, the gender pay gap and a reduced accessibility to training.
Bring Maternity Allowance for self-empoyed mothers closer in line with Statutory Maternity Pay
Statutory Sick Pay should be extended to the self-employed and reformed to exclude an earnings threshold
Government should invest in low-cost childcare
Make training for the self-employed easier to access
Read our latest report
Women in self-employment in 2022
This report outlines the size of the female self-employed sector, reviewing demographic and occupational changes since 2020 whilst also reviewing the experiences of women in self-employment. The report then concludes with a series of policy recommendations for government.Read the report
Read our previous report
Women in self-employment
This exciting report is the much needed first step in bringing women in self-employment to the forefront. It highlights that women are more likely to experience concerns and challenges, especially with regards to financial issues. It also reveals that, like in employment, a shocking gender pay disparity exists in self-employment. Women are also more likely to experience difficulties finding work, feel less supported by government and feel isolated as a result of their self-employment.Read report