You’ve probably heard that President Obama is urging Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to force companies paying women less than men for the same work to prove that there’s a reason for this wage gap, other than gender.
It occurs to us that one of the most wonderful aspects of the freelancing world is that there is no need for a law like this. There’s no wage gap between independent professionals based on gender, as far as we know. There’s no glass ceiling. You can earn nice, six-figure income if you’re good at what you do, there’s a demand for your services, and work hard and consistently at it. No gatekeeper can hold you back for failing to “fit the mold” for certain jobs–a mold that, in many companies, is still modeled around men with a very extensive personal support system at home.
This fact isn’t lost on the many high-powered women who freelance now. And their exodus is a talent drain for employers. Right now, unemployment is high. But eventually, the economy will improve. And companies may be forced to change as they find themselves at a competitive disadvantage because their top women employees can walk out the door to much better career prospects as independent workers–and get 100 cents for every dollar men get, instead of 77 cents.
Meanwhile, with the pace of change in this front pretty glacial, some women aren’t going to wait around. They can freelance right now and still fit in their kids’ soccer games or a trip to the doctor with an elderly parent–with no income penalty.