“The best part about running my business is that I get to set my own tone for the company. I know I’m doing my best work and giving my clients my all.” — Laura Brooke, PHL Organizer
Here’s what else we know:
There’s no measurable gender pay gap among our biggest categories on Thumbtack.
“Before I started my own business, I felt that my livelihood always depended on someone else. As I got older I realized I didn’t like that feeling so much.” — Sabrina Gallon, Good Fork Catering
At first, most pros (women and men) on Thumbtack have to undercharge to get customers. Once their business grows, most women told us they can actually earn more and have better career growth than if they were employed by someone else. And they feel less likely to suffer from the gender pay gap.
Why? Being self-employed on Thumbtack means they can set their own rates. They have the freedom to charge the true value of their expertise. In fact, across our biggest hourly-priced categories, there is zero statistical difference between men and women’s rates; in other words, there’s no measurable gender pay gap among those categories on Thumbtack. Which makes us feel pretty great.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be a female entrepreneur.
“I’m a tailor, which shocks people, because they only think tailors are men. Tailoring is an occupation. Not a gender.” — Arisha Green, In Stitches Custom Tailoring & Alterations
“At the end of the day, I have to prove myself because I am a woman — compared to a man who is automatically trusted even if they have no experience.” — Amy Wall, BuilderChicks
The big challenge for any small business owner is finding customers. For some women, especially in the home improvement, lawn care and professional services industries, gender can make it harder to win new clients. Self-employed women are five times more likely than men to have their expertise questioned — in all industries. But women in male-dominated industries are ten times more likely to be questioned.
Despite the challenges, the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 52% between 2002 and 2012, the last year of available data. And more women are entering male-dominated fields — faster than in female-dominated ones. And while that’s good news, research shows that pay often decreases when women work in male-dominated industries.
So it’s more important than ever to support female entrepreneurs — and we’re proud to help.
“It’s all about community over competition.” — Jessica Senouillet, Soulful Northwest
40% of the women we spoke to said they were able to turn to a network of other female business owners for help and advice. And 69% said it was personally important for them to support other women-owned businesses. But only 21% of the women said that local governments were doing enough to support their businesses. Their priorities included simpler tax rules and better training programs.
At the federal level, 84% wanted a government policy that made it easier for them to access benefits. Health insurance, paid time off, parental leave — things that an employer usually provides. And we want to help. That’s why we’ve partnered with Alia to start providing portable benefits to house cleaners.
We’re inspired by female pros.
“We need to set an example and help girls understand their self-worth. Otherwise, they won’t do what they really want to do. They’ll pick whatever’s normal or safe. There need to be pioneers out there beating the odds and showing other women’s what’s possible.” — Jessica Baldwin, JPaints Utah
Whether our female pros are in a male-dominated industry or not, they’re in charge of their own career paths and defy the gender pay gap. Although there are plenty of challenges left to face, we’re proud to provide a platform that helps women find happiness and satisfaction in their work — and be an inspiration to other women entrepreneurs.
Some great info here! Thank you for writing it all up and laying it out so clearly. Now I have a clearly laid out article to share with people on this subject.
Love it! I agree I am a business owner and my quality of life is better than ever as is my earning potential. My goal is to have my customers leave who feel like they received an excellent work product with caring service.
That's not entirely true. As a travel agency owner on thumbtack I dont have the ability to charge anything at all. All quotes are assumed to be free. Theres no option to set rates for travel services. As a travel professionals we are underpaid as people want free quotes then once the get them, they book it themselves. Right now, we are struggling because of COVID-19..We as travel agents and advisors spend mant hours to research a trip for potential clients. We dont get paid for those hours unless we have the ability to set a research and planning fee. And yes we get commission from suppliers, but that rate is fairly small. You have to sell a large volume to get competitive communication rates. The large travel agencies have the ability to do that, not the small business owner. We need the ability to set prices on the tool, just like other services do.