Suraya Yahaya, an independent consultant participating in the MeasureMatch marketplace, describes why the remote working opportunity offered through professional services marketplaces is a welcome boost for working mothers (and all primary carers).
A recent study by McKinsey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic said that women are 1.3x more likely to consider leaving the US workforce than men. In particular, working mothers, senior women and black women have one foot out the door. It describes a worst-case scenario where we could lose up to 2M women in the workforce and 100,000 senior women leaders in the short term - wiping out hard earned progress we’ve made over the last six years. Similarly, the National Bureau of Economic Research said that 865,000 women left the workforce in September (nearly 4 times the number than men).
These alarming statistics are primarily driven by the fact that women are carrying the brunt of caregiving during this pandemic. Whether it's homeschooling children who are forced to learn remotely or caring for sick or aging family members, women are more than ever the foundation that holds the family unit together, during this challenging time. As Melinda Gates put it: women are the unpaid labor invisible during a crisis, and the way to build back to a solid, equitable economic recovery is to put women “straight at the center”.
Enter premier, high-value services marketplaces such as MeasureMatch. Fueled by the explosive demand for independent professionals, marketplace platforms like MeasureMatch offer women like me a channel to showcase our skills and talents, adding value and contributing to the growth of an almost $1.2 trillion economy of independent workers (aka freelancers) in the US.
Gone are the “must-do” 8am meetings which come with permanent employment – right during breakfast or school prep time. Gone are the all-day mandatory sessions that simply cannot work when caring for young children. MeasureMatch is offering women the flexibility and opportunity to earn a material income, contribute to and drive the economy forward AND take care of family needs - all at the same time.
A recent study by freelance marketplace behemoth Upwork stated that the share of independent professionals who earn a living freelancing full time has increased 8 percentage points to 36% since 2019. Further, 50% of freelancers provide skilled services such as computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting, up from 45% in 2019 and more than a third have started since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Any stigma surrounding hiring fractional, independent, highly skilled professionals as a growth engine for a successful businessis is long gone. From entertainment to tech, industry leaders are increasingly relying on independent workers to drive projects and long-term strategies forward.
According to Deloitte’s Future of Work Accelerated report, 3 in 5 businesses (60%) are projecting an increase in the share of indepedent contractors to reduce the dependence on a full-time workforce.
The opportunity for women to continue to be a driving force, not just at home as primary caregivers and teachers, but as equal contributors in the global economic recovery is here. And, platforms such as MeasureMatch are at the forefront of this critical channel of economic growth and equity for women.
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