Female self-employed workers have been progressing faster than their male counterparts, a fact that has been observed since 2016, according to the FPS Economy’ “SME Barometer”.
Since 2016, the number of female freelancers has been increasing more rapidly than that of their male counterparts. Although women make up approximately only a third (35%) of independent business people, they are each year experiencing a growth in relative numbers that are larger than the men’s.
At the end of 2018, the ranks of female freelance workers had swollen by 3.3% over a year, as against a figure of 2.2% for men.
From 2016 to 2018, the number went up by 6.13% for women, compared to 4.58% for men.
Most female freelancers work within the liberal professions (39.5%) and in business (29.9%). Men, however, are still in the majority in these sectors, as much in the liberal professions (55%) as in the business world (64.5%).
Services is the only sector where women freelancers are more numerous (55.6%) than men (44.4%). With a female representation of only 16.6%, the industry shows the greatest disparity between the sexes.
The tendency is, on the other hand, much less favourable as far as female company directors are concerned. In 2018, there were 90,028 directors, or 23.1% of all self-employed women. For men, the figure stands at 31.6%.
Measures were taken during the previous government to support entrepreneurship among women, particularly in regards to maternity leave.