According to a survey, Pandemic was beneficial for women freelance workers in India since it provided them with a better work-life balance and the flexibility in work times that the gig economy provides in specialised areas.
Indian women freelancers’ average hourly earning rate saw an increase of 42%, from earning $14 per hour (about Rs 1,050) in 2020 to $22 per hour (nearly Rs 1,600) in 2022.
In addition, women freelancers’ average hourly earnings rate stood at par with their global counterparts, as per ‘Freelancer Income Report 2022’ by commerce and technology company Payoneer.
“Indian freelancing is making a value-driven shift in the global gig economy. In the last few years, we have witnessed a constant increase in freelancer income and their movement to more specialized fields like marketing, coding and finance,” said Rohit Kulkarni, Senior Vice President at Payoneer India.
Time flexibility, better-skilled opportunities, and better wages contributed to having more professionals entering this economy.
The average hourly rates of the Indian freelancing community increased from $21 in 2020 to $26 in 2022.
In 2022, Indian women’s earnings represented 81% of what their male counterparts are earning. Their average hourly rates stand at $22 per hour compared to men’s hourly rates at $27 per hour (nearly Rs 2,000).
“The gender pay gap stood at 77 percent before Covid-19. Interestingly, Indian women freelancers recorded a much better gender pay ratio against their counterparts in developed markets like North America which stood at 71 per cent,” the findings showed.
Indian freelancers outshined their global counterparts as they found themselves in a position to ask for a better average hourly rate for some of the niches like finance, demanding an hourly rate of $71 compared with a global average of $41, and marketing at $47 against the global average rate of $34.
“The findings cements our belief that Indian freelancing will continue making rapid strides in the global gig market in days to come,” said Kulkarni.
The freelance economy is dominated by young Indian freelancers falling in the age group of 18-34 years.
More than half of the Indian respondents (57%) said they get the majority of their work from online marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr, while just 7% said they get it from conventional methods like word of mouth and referrals.
According to the research, the top issues encountered by Indian freelancers were connected to business growth, such as expanding into new markets and managing time and price discussions.