Gender wage gap is an issue which is making the headlines from the past few years. Many reports suggest that women earn less due to the facts that they are working in low-paid occupation and also take time off for seeing their kids.
This fact is acceptable, but what about the online working platforms where the budget is set according to a given task and where clients do not see the gender before assigning the task? It looks that there is a gender wage gap there as well.
University of Chicago and Stanford University published a study last week, in which date of Uber drivers was gathered. The report suggested that male drivers are earning 7% hourly more than their counter-part female drivers. The study further found that men drove more in late night hours while women drove more in Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Men are more risk tolerant as compared to women and they drive 2.2% faster than their counterparts, the report finds out.
But when researchers took a deeper look at the research, they found out that half of the difference was only due to the fact that male drivers drive faster than the females. Also, the male drivers stuck with the app for a longer period of time which also adds to their productivity.
They further found that males drivers tend to drive in more lucrative areas – those with high crime rates and more liquor stores. And females tend to drive less in those areas. The author of the study said that there is no reason to think that the gig economy will be going to close the gender wage gap.
However, the study among non-traditional work is not unique in its findings. Contingent Worker Survey, a stat released by Bureau of Labor Statistics recently which showed that women earn less than 15% in temporary jobs as compared to men and in the field of independent contractors, male contractors earn more than 21.5% as compared to female independent workers.
The difference story didn’t end here as another study of 2016 which used totally different data was carried out by Bureau of Labor Statistics. This study also found a prominent difference between the incomes of men and women in the self-employed domain.
Freshbooks reported the gap of 28% earlier this year and many females complaint about gender discrimination said that they had to charge less in order to get more clients. According to a student of gig economy at the Aspen Institute, Shelly Steward, the gap in the domain of independent contracts can be justified with the fact that women often took low-salary contracts as a supplement income.
And those jobs include home-based assignments like babysitting. While on the other hand men are more likely to get the high profile contracts like an insurance agent.
Even when males and females do exactly the same type of work like driving a car, the wage gap occurs due to the factors like the location where they drive the car to and the willingness to take a risk. Steward further said that we live in a society where we notice gender discrimination every other day and it affects independent work same as it does the traditional work.
However, the Uber study has provided a glimmer of hope as it suggested that many gender-based wage gap is associated with the difference in experience. The study also stated that females can pull level with males if they started picking up more skills and stick to the app longer than usual.
The author of the study said that their study suggested that learning-on-job adds a lot to the earning and it can also help in reducing the gender wage gap as well. The Uber study explained the gender wage gap with the help of three main factors – the location of preference, premium payment for fast driving and the amount of experience.