Money Monday: How the gig economy is affecting women

Money Monday

In this week’s “Money Monday,” we’re going to take a look at the growing gig economy.

People across the country are finding creative ways to bring in extra money with a side hustle this holiday season.

The gig economy is a growing trend for anyone hoping to control their schedule or make a little extra money, and more than ever, women are seizing the opportunities.

For example, the number of women earning on the Uber app has increased nearly 80% since the beginning of the year

Delivery services like Instacart and Doordash say women represent over 50% of their workforce

“The gig economy is one of the only ways that women can sometimes find a way to earn income while balancing all of the commitments that they have,” said Shelly Steward of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative.

That’s exactly what Shari Stephens, a marketing strategist and mom of two from Michigan, did after her husband suffered from a stroke in 2018.

“It’s a big difference when you’re able to adjust your own schedule,” she said.

She turned to the freelance platform Upwork and now earns more than she did before. She says gig work was crucial for her and her family during the pandemic.

Across the country in Pennsylvania, mom of three Kara Moore became an Instacart shopper after recently becoming separated.

“I saw someone randomly post about this thing called Instacart, and within a couple of months, I was able to move out and now I’m on my own with my three girls and doing Instacart pretty much full time,” said Moore.

Now as a single mom, making her own schedule is key

Despite the possible upsides to the gig economy, experts warn it might be a sign of a broken labor market.

“Those jobs are not stable. They do not provide benefits, they exacerbate insecurity. So it’s a really tough spot for women to be in where there’s kind of no option that allows them to both earn a living and have a basic level of security,” said Steward.

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