Elance Global Survey: Unprecedented Online Work Opportunities For Women.e_darrellj | Apr 23, 2013
With online work already slated to double in the next two years, here at Elance we’ve noticed an even greater rate of acceleration among women now freelancing.
Curiosity piqued, the team decided to dig deeper by conducting a poll among Elancers. The results of our global survey are impressive to say the least, as women are truly thriving in today’s online work world.
In fact, women’s online earnings are now growing almost 20% faster than men. This makes perfect sense if you’ve read Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling book Lean In, where she notes that 43% of high-qualified women with children are leaving their full-time gigs for the flexibility of online work.
Truth be told, women are looking for more freedom and more opportunity, and freelancing is where they’re finding it. This is especially true in the technology sector, where online work is critical to closing the tech gender gap. One shining nugget found in our Elance survey is that 70% of women questioned report that online work offers more opportunities for women in technology.
Similarly, the results show that as women gain more experience working online, they naturally gravitate towards tech-based jobs. The poll reveals that as women look to overcome traditional stereotypes and work barriers, they plan to take their careers to the next level by adding new skills from website design (36%) and web programming (29%) to mobile app development (22%).
Key to helping this monumental transformation is the many educational opportunities now available to all for learning new skills. Also of note is our many Skills Tests on Elance, where our clients can see that women have the talents needed to do a great job.
The bottom line? Women working online are more optimist than ever. A case in point is Heidi Vanyo, a U.S.-based software developer from Blaine, Minnesota who responded to our survey. “After taking five years off to focus on my family, I knew reentering the tech workforce would be difficult because the sector moves at light speed,” she said. “Instead of seeking a traditional full-time job, I opted for online employment on Elance due to the flexibility it provides me as a working mom. Within a few months, I was able to build up my web development portfolio and work with a variety of businesses around the world.”
Here are some other highlights of women’s responses to our survey:
• 80% are optimistic about their career growth in the technology sector
• 70% say online work elevates socioeconomic status in technology
• 65% report that the diversity of online jobs boosts their skills and status
• 65% want the intellectual challenge and diversity of tech careers
• 60% find it’s easier to find online work than full-time positions
• 60% report online work allows a better work-life balance and more family
Still more work to be done. Much of it happening online.
However, the report also shows that there is still work to be done for the gap to narrow even more. In fact the survey reveals the following factors that women feel are critical for continued progress: equal pay (66%), parent and teacher inspiration at a younger age (55%) and dispelling stereotypes about girls and math/science (49%).
Check-out the complete results of our Women in Technology survey, including some eye-catching infographics that bring the story to life. We’re excited to be a big part of the changing space in technology and a bright future for women. Even our CEO Fabio Rosati couldn’t hide his enthusiasm: “For women in tech, online work is a level playing field where merit and results rule,” he said. “Online work provides an attractive avenue to reduce gender discrimination and create professional fulfillment in ways that often are not available in traditional job markets.”
Well said. And well done, women in technology.