On average, women entrepreneurs in Georgia make around $18,000 less annually than their male peers for the same work, according to a new report.
That means the Peach State has the largest gender wage gap in the nation among self-employed adults.
The report, published by accounting platform FreshBooks, found that self-employed women in knowledge-based fields in Georgia make 23% less than males who do the same work. Georgia is followed by Texas, Florida, New York and California, which all have 22% pay gaps.
Nationally, self-employed women make on average 17% less than self-employed men.
“Pricing work to be both competitive and profitable is a persistent challenge for self-employed people overall,” said Dave Cosgrove with Freshbooks. “It can be even harder for women, one-in-four of whom feel they must discount their work in order to compete with men.”
The report comes on the cusp of a potential change in the workforce. Tens of millions more Americans are expected to become self-employed in the next 2-5 years.
About half of those workers are expected to be women — who have been taking up a greater share of the entrepreneurial world.
“Over the next five years we may witness a historical closing of the gender entrepreneurship gap. Our data suggest that 10 to 12 million women may enter the independent workforce over the next five years,” Lindsay Lapchuk, with FreshBooks, said in a statement.
Men and women tend to seek self-employment for different reasons. While men are more likely to be driven by career fulfillment or money alone, women are more likely to weigh factors such as family balance, better health and less stress.
Women are also more likely to feel like there are barriers to them becoming self employed. Factors like having a steady enough income, having money to invest and having funds to pay off debts.
However, women tend to feel less bound by company loyalty than men, when considering leaving the traditional workforce, the report found.
Of women who decided to become self-employed, 73% said they have a better work-life balance, 59% of women reported having less stress and 57% felt healthier overall.
To compile the report, FreshBooks surveyed more than 1,500 women who work full-time.
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