Difference in hourly rates among self-employed professionals men/women gone

14/12/2023
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Since covid, zzp rates men and women are equalized
Rotterdam Nov. 21, 2023 - The gap between the rates of men and women working as independent professionals has closed. There is no longer a significant difference in hourly rates between men and women when controlling for relevant (background) characteristics such as age, work experience, education level, field of study and number of working hours anno 2023. This is evident from the analysis 50,350 men and women offered on assignments where both a man and a woman were offered, research data from over 4,000 self-employed workers from Intelligence Group and is confirmed by data from CBS.

Rate trends are shown quarterly in the figure below.

In the period before 2020, there is a strong significant effect of gender on the hourly rate between 2018 and Q1-2020, women's hourly rate is 14% lower. The trend break seems to coincide exactly with corona. From a highly significant relationship between gender and hourly rate, this turns to highly insignificant. In other words; gender no longer explains differences in hourly rate between male and female independent professionals.
CBS shows the same pattern

No data on hourly rates are available from CBS, but you can check the income of self-employed professionals and compare that with the average number of hours worked per year. For men and women, the differences in income per hour worked are shown below:

It is worth noting that 15 years ago, the rate gap was about 25%, but it has declined sharply in recent years and has all but disappeared after covid. Intelligence Group's data confirm this pattern, as do over 50,000 records of men and women offered and matched.

"One possible explanation why since covid the differences in hourly rates between men and women are disappearing is working from home. Before covid, working from home was previously an additional condition that women were more likely to use and may have had a negative effect on hourly rates. During and after covid, working from home has become much more self-evident for men and women and no longer gives a negative bargaining effect for women" said Geert-Jan Waasdorp CEOI Intelligence Group. "It is also striking that female independent professionals do significantly better in acquiring new assignments than men. It is therefore plausible that women's hourly rates continue to gain ground over men, with the labor market emancipation of women as self-employed and independent professionals a fact."

Furthermore, analyses by Intelligence Group analysts show that women who are looking for a new assignment without an intermediary are significantly more successful in doing so than men and are even paid 0.22 euros per hour more than men. If women are supported by an agency, the success rate between men and women is almost the same (slightly in favor of women), although men have a just slightly higher average rate per hour (+2%).
Learn more:

Sources:
CBS
ITAM, Intelligence Group
Fixed/flex data from Intelligence Group | HeadfirstGroup

Read more: here.

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