Freelancing - how much to charge? ... and gender

@JulieK has writen about freelancers and the uncertainty many women face when trying to figure out how much to charge:

Many of the women I spoke to who were new to contracting often expressed uncertainty about how much they should charge. This impacts women’s short and long-term financial security. Australian women gig workers are likely to receive 10% – 37% less per hour than their male counterparts and work fewer hours due to caregiving responsibilities. Throughout my career as a manager, I have encountered situations where I had to renegotiate contractor rates with women because they were too low. In fact, their proposed rates were so low that they would earn less per hour than a regular employee in a similar role.

The article also explores the topic more broadly and comes up with a programme for change.

What do you think?

Go here for more.


Thank you @Antony for sharing. There are two issues, women feeling they can charge what they are worth and society and organizations recognizing the worth of women and paying for that value. With so many people becoming contractors we need to learn more than applying for a job now days. There needs to be easy to read information on how to successful set yourself up as a contractor and support to get across how tax, superannuation, insurance and Workcover works when a person is a contractor.

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@Antony thanks for sharing, and @JulieK thanks for your insightful piece.

I acknowledge that there is a complex tapestry of considerations and issues that feed into this theme, so I don’t intend to appear as simplifying it back to a spreadsheet calculation. However, I am curious to know whether you are aware of any easily accessible and usable calculator tools to help people form an understanding of the rate that they should ideally be charging in order to achieve their goals and to meet their responsibilities?

I came across this from Professionals Australia:

The Excel calculator looks to be pretty comprehensive (although beware, I found what I think is an error… it doesn’t sum all of the “Deductions” leave dates correctly).

And the “Recommended contractor hourly rates” that it links off to provides a framework to assess what level someone is at (@kate-s you might be interested to see that for the ICT one they use the SFIA skills framework).

My hypothesis is that with a more clear, robust and comprehensive view of what someone should ideally be charging, then they are more likely to ask for that amount upfront, and better equipped to hold their ground should the encounter objections.

Again, this wouldn’t “solve” the broader challenges, but maybe broader availability of these types of tools and support in using them could be a useful input.

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Happy New Year! Being a member of Professionals Australia … I did see this ages ago but had forgotten! I wonder if we could construct a (corrected) version of the soreadsheet online @petecohen ? That with a fair contracting fact sheet along the lines that you suggest @JulieK ?


We can do this - good project to kick off the year!


@Antony @petecohen I definetely think this is something we can do and I am happy involved. Thank you @petecohen for sharing the spreadsheet it is very useful. Financial inclusion requires financial literacy which this spreadsheet covers, access to systems that impact financial wellbeing and the information sheet will do part of this and confidence building . For that a seperate sheet on contracting and gender would be useful for that. I think there could be a funding opportunity to fo this work. What do you think about exploring that possibility? I have a few connections.


Great! This will be a great project for us to do together!

In terms of the calculator, I think that it should be pretty straightforward to create a version that retains the comprehensive nature, but also makes it more user friendly.
One idea is to also create some simple videos that talk through how to use the spreadsheet, as well as some detail on the various sections and what to consider when filling it out.

@JulieK - I think that exploring funding is a great idea. If we could finding funding to cover your time to create the information sheet, that would be awesome. In addition, having a funder involved would likely give us an avenue to more visibility - both for this resource in particular, as well as CFS and the work we are all doing.

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We should meet up with someone from Professionals Australia to do this i.e. to get their imprimatur. Its a good opportunity for them to lift their profile in this area.