Women on Thumbtack: let's talk numbers.

Thumbtack Writer PhilippaB
Thumbtack Writer
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“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

Only 51% of American workers are satisfied with their jobs. But our latest Build Her Up report is far less bleak. Here’s what over 900 self-employed women across the country told us:

  • 86% were happy to be in their current job;
  • 83% were satisfied with their career choice;
  • 92% were proud to run their own small business.

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.

3 responses
Community Newcomer

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. 



Moderator Meckell

We're happy you like it @MHamiltonVisual

Community Newcomer

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.