The pay gap follows women into the gig economy, new research shows. (Credit: PXHere)

The pay gap between men and women employees is well-known – but it’s not the only one out there, according to a new study.

Indeed, research from accounting software company FreshBooks reveals that women freelancers make 28% less than their male counterparts. 

It’s especially worrisome since this particular group is typically in charge of setting their own rates. But per FreshBooks’ study, a fifth of the women freelancers surveyed report having to lower their rates to secure clients, and as much as a third say they’ve experienced gender discrimination while in pursuit of jobs.

It’s still not better for women in the traditional working world. As of May, nearly 1 million more women were out of work than men, following massive job losses amid Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. And as of the beginning of 2022, women overall still made 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man. (For women of color, the gap is greater, still.)

“It really does add up, and so we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars a year,” Jasmine Tucker, director of the National Women’s Law Center, told CBS in May of the disparity.

While the pay may not be better, 63% of the women who spoke with FreshBooks still said that “working for themselves will help them reach their career goals faster than being traditionally employed.” 

And among those who are already self-employed, 78% report being happier working for themselves – despite the pay gap that followed them into freelancing and entrepreneurship.