New Delhi: It is an unequal world when it comes to white-collar gig jobs.

While women take up white-collar freelance roles primarily to enable them to stay in the workforce, men choose independent roles to build their professional brand, according to research into work patterns carried out by the white-collar gig platform Flexing It.

The skill architecture is different too. Technology has emerged as a major skill area for both. Skills like strategy and business development, as well as supply chain and logistics, have a significant supply of highly skilled male consultants. This is contrasted by the skills of HR and finance that female consultants bring in large proportions.

Meanwhile, white-collar gig continues to see a substantive rise in numbers with an increase of 130% in registration of male consultants in April-November 2023, from a year earlier. The number of women signing up as freelancers has grown faster at 145% in the same period.

Research into the work patterns reveals that for women, freelancing serves as a means to safeguard their professional trajectories, while for men, it often functions as a strategy to construct and fortify their careers as specialists.

Men have been taking to freelancing in large numbers over the past two years — especially professionals with significant experience levels, indicating that freelancing is seen more as a method of building their professional brand and leveraging their skills in the industry, rather than a ‘temping’ opportunity, said Flexing It founder Chandrika Pasricha.This is because success in freelancing is highly dependent on the skills and expertise of the professional. Freelancing allows senior, expert consultants to work on a wide range of projects and build a strong portfolio in their domain.Freelancing offers the opportunity to better manage the schedule and get flexibility (capacity, remote work, etc.) while staying engaged and building a career. These are becoming important aspects of work – for all genders – in the new normal, research showed.

“In addition, we have seen both men and women adopting independent consulting as a transition between full-time employment and entrepreneurship, and often do this while also starting up,” Pasricha said.

The acceptance of remote work arrangements is also a lever to help highly skilled consultants deliver on high-quality projects, without the need to be at the client site all the time. “We have consistently seen over 50% of our projects being remote/ hybrid since the pandemic. This has given consultants a greater spectrum of opportunities to apply to,” Pasricha said.

Who are India’s Freelancers:

  • 65% of freelancers are men

  • Over 50% of the male consultants have over 10 years of experience while 31% female consultants have over 10 years of experience.

  • Top skill categories for men: Technology (30%), strategy and business development (10%), finance (9%), supply chain and logistics (7%), and marketing (7%).

  • Top skill categories for women: Technology (20%), HR (14%), marketing (12%), finance (9%), and strategy & business development (8%)

  • Top 3 industries that supply consultants are: Technology (31%), professional services & consulting (9%), and banks and financial services (8%).

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