It has been revealed that more and more women are turning to contracting due to the flexibility of the lifestyle.
Statistics have shown that self-employment is becoming more attractive to women, with the number of female sole traders growing by more than 20% over the last five years. One-third of new registrations in 2012 were from females, which shows that women are keen to find work that suits their lifestyle and to work for themselves rather than somebody else.
Since 2008 London has seen a 22% increase in female sole traders and the figures are also high for the surrounding areas; growth has also been rapid in a number of regions of Scotland. The UK has more than 1.5 million contractors and it is estimated that 38% of these are women. 13% of these are working mothers and this is a section that is growing rapidly; the need to find work that fits around the family timetable is strong for women.
These figures are also supported by a survey from the PCG, which shows that female contractors tend to be much happier than male contractors; however, while contracting may be ideal for flexibility, women still need to address issues such as the cost of childcare, discrimination and equal pay. A director at the PCG, Simon McVicker, has called for the government to do more to meet the needs of female freelancers.
Statistics show that the UK still needs to go a long way to catch up with the US, Germany, Australia and France when it comes to flexible working for females.