A new survey of more than 1,000 women with side hustles reveals that the top three reasons women choose independent work are flexibility (44%), income (38%) and entrepreneurship (25%).
“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Her Side Hustle: Women in the Gig Economy 2018” provides an in-depth look at a cross-section of women who make income working side jobs either as their sole source of income or as a complement to full-time work. Commissioned by BabyQuip, Ruby Ribbon and UrbanSitter, the whitepaper creates a snapshot of how and why women gig in 2018.
When asked why they choose to side hustle, “flexibility” was the most frequent answer. More specifically, when rating how important various aspects of their gig economy work was to them, 65 percent of respondents indicated flexibility is “extremely important,” with another 30 percent saying it is “very important.” In all, flexibility is important to 95 percent of respondents. What’s more, women with children under age 5 were more likely to select “more time with children” (54%), another form of flexibility, as the reason they gig.
“Even in an era of historically high employment, women are choosing a side hustle,” said Anna Zornosa, CEO of Ruby Ribbon. “In spite of the growing demand for full-time workers, these findings indicate that women are going to continue with their gig economy jobs, which offer them fulfillment and flexibility, as well as a satisfactory income.”
Income Is Important
While flexibility is the leading reason women report they gig, income is a close second. Overall, 38 percent of women indicated they side hustle to “earn a good income.” When asked to rate how much importance they place on various aspects of their side hustles, “earning money” was most likely to be rated “extremely important” (66%). The survey found that women who have been doing this work for three or more years enjoy higher earnings, with 59 percent earning $500 or more and over a third (36%) earning over $999 per month.
“The gig economy appeals to women of all ages, and we’re not surprised that the ways they use their side hustle incomes differs by life stage,” said Fran Maier, founder and CEO of BabyQuip. “What excites us is that they enjoy this kind of work and we are looking forward to creating great opportunities for them at any age or life stage.”
Entrepreneurship Is Evolving
Entrepreneurship was the third most popular answer (25%) to the question asking participants why they gig. More than half of the women surveyed (58%) rated “build my own business” as being “very important” or “extremely important.” Additionally, respondents value the skills they are acquiring through their side hustles with 72 percent of women acquiring “customer service” skills and just under half learning various marketing skills, including sales (44%), marketing and advertising (43%), social media marketing (42%) and public relations (41%).
“Side hustles aren’t new to women. Many were gigging before the term was ever coined,” said Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter. “But with the availability of more robust gig platforms and marketplaces today, it is easier for women to find and succeed at side hustles that offer the flexibility and money they need, while also allowing them to acquire new professional skills and become entrepreneurs at any stage in life. It’s truly a winning proposition.”