When we place an Uber Eats order, we would never guess that if a woman is delivering the meal she is likely earning 37% less for that order than if a man delivered it.
‘Digital platform work’—work generated through apps like Uber and Airtasker—offers a solution for women who struggle to attain regular employment around home and care duties. But a new report by the Victorian government highlights the shortcomings of this work, and how it even worsens existing problems for women in the workforce, especially for those who exist at the intersection of disadvantage.
Men and women alike are drawn to this work for the extra income and flexibility of hours. However, women on average earn 37% less than men— equivalent to a difference of $2.62 per hour. Women also accept more work in client’s homes, which can put their health and safety at risk. Moreover, the ‘flexibility’ of this work in practice blurs the boundary between work and home life, with one app allowing women to bring their children along if the passenger is okay with it.