Indian Women Freelancers Witness 42% Rise In Income Amid Pandemic: Report

Freelancers in India saw rising demand and opportunity from international assignments. The average hourly rates of the Indian freelancing community saw a jump from $21 in 2020 to $26 in 2022


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Payoneer, a commerce and technology company powering payments and growth for the new global economy, today launched the fourth edition of its Freelancer Income Report. The report highlights Indian women freelancers reported higher levels of satisfaction, owing to an increased work-life balance and flexibility in work schedules that the gig culture offers. The segment has also observed a substantial increase of 42 per cent in their average hourly earning rate from $22/hour in 2022 against $14/hour in 2020. Furthermore, their average hourly earnings rate is at par with their global counterparts.

The report is based on a survey of 2,300 freelancers from over 100 countries and provides insight into how they have fared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Though the pandemic created unprecedented levels of disruptions in the job market, it, on the other hand, gave a push to the freelancers in India. Freelancers in India saw rising demand and opportunity from international assignments. The average hourly rates of the Indian freelancing community saw a jump from $21 in 2020 to $26 in 2022.

Freelancing in India paves the way for a new beginning in reducing the gender pay gap The report highlights that the gender wage gap in India has slightly improved since 2020. In 2022, Indian women are earning 81 per cent of what their male counterparts do with their average hourly rates at $22/hour compared to men’s hourly rate at $27/hour. The gender pay gap stood at 77 per cent before COVID. Interestingly, Indian women freelancers recorded a much better gender pay ratio against their counterparts in developed markets like North America which stood at 71 per cent. India beats global average hourly earnings rate across multiple categories 

Indian freelancers outshined their global counterparts and were able to demand a better average hourly rate for some of the popular professions like Finance demanding an hourly rate of $71 against global average of $41 and Marketing at $47 vs. a global average rate of $34. Premium being charged by Indian freelancers, shows an increasing global acceptability of Indian work quality.   

“Indian freelancing is making a value driven shift in the global gig economy. In the last few years, we have witnessed a constant increase in freelancer income and their movement to more specialized fields like marketing, coding and finance. More flexibility, better-skilled opportunities, and increased earnings are some leading to more professionals entering this economy.” said Rohit Kulkarni, Senior Vice President at Payoneer India. “The findings of our Freelancer Income Report 2022 cements our belief that Indian freelancing will continue making rapid strides in the global gig market in days to come.  We, at Payoneer, are on a mission to empower freelancers from all walks of life with the resources and tools to expand their business opportunities across international markets.” 

As mentioned in the previous report, the Indian freelancing economy is still dominated by young Indian freelancers between the age group of 18-34 years. More than half of the Indian respondents (57%) stated that they find most of their work through online marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc., while only 7 per cent rely on traditional sources like word of mouth and referrals. Top challenges faced by Indian freelancers were related to business growth, i.e. expanding to new markets, and managing time & fee negotiations


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