Latest findings have revealed that the number of women becoming self-employed has risen by a significant 57% since 2008.
The report, carried out by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), found that this figure is more than double the increase of self-employed men within the same period.
Interestingly, the number of female freelancers (solo self-employed, as opposed to business owners) saw even more growth – a 63% rise in 11 years.
Corinne Stuart, IPSE’s Head of Commercial Development, commented, “On International Women’s Day, these figures show just how important self-employment is to women across the UK. Not only does it give them better working conditions and flexibility; it can also offer earning levels they may not be able to find in full-time employment.
“Freelancing is clearly vital for many mothers and carers too, because it gives them the ability to both earn an income and spend time with their children and family. For some, it can also be a means of moving back into the workforce.
“As more and more women move into self-employment, the government must recognise how important this way of working is. It should make a particular effort to ensure self-employed mothers have all the assistance and support they need, for example, by making them eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay – like employees.
“In these uncertain times, the government must do all it can to protect this sector and make sure women have access to the freedom and flexibility of self-employment. Freelancing is, after all, a feminist issue.”
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