The Importance of the Gig Economy in Boosting Diversity
In August 2021, the share of job postings related to diversity, equity, and inclusion was up by 52% compared to 2020. According to Protocol’s article on corporate interest in diversity, this is the result of businesses wanting to make their workforce more inclusive after the rise of racial violence cases at the time. A diverse workforce gives companies access to different ideas from people with various backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. As a result, they contribute to the company’s overall capabilities and success. Similarly, Maryville University’s report on cultural leadership documents how employees who work for a company with a diverse workforce are more productive. The university found that companies with diverse workforces are 1.8 times more likely to embrace change and are 1.7 times more likely to be market leaders. Feelings of inclusion encourage them to form meaningful connections within their team, allowing them to work together more seamlessly.
Incidentally, if you want to incorporate diversity in your workplace, one of the best ways to go about it is to hire freelancers. Here’s why.
Anyone can freelance
The freelance life offers two key benefits: flexible work schedules and work-from-home settings. People who are busy or cannot leave their homes can opt to work as a freelance employee. This is why Yahoo Finance shares that many persons with disabilities tend to freelance, for example. They can schedule their work around doctor’s appointments or work in their homes for their health and safety.
Aside from persons with disabilities, there are also single parents that cannot leave their children alone, pregnant women that still want to earn despite their circumstances, and other busy individuals. Hiring freelancers will offer you a fairly diversified and untapped pool of marginalized talent. Persons with disabilities, for instance, can provide insight into their own experiences that can help companies broaden their perspectives.
A wide range of age groups work freelance
People of all ages do freelance work, from students looking to earn to elders wanting to extend their working lives. In fact, a researcher from the University of Rochester Medical Center found that many people aged 50 and above turn to self-employment to remain work active despite their age. The youth and the elderly are able to bring diversity into the workplace through their acquired knowledge and experiences. Younger people are more up-to-date with current technologies, while the elderly have decades of experience that they can share.
Freelancers have various expertise and skill levels
Freelancers often develop their own skills through online courses and training. Because of this, it can be expected that each freelancer will have a different skill level or expertise in a certain task. Some individuals even engage themselves in multiple types of work. Their range of talents and skill levels can even differ from those who received formal training, making them unique team members with something new to offer. For example, a freelance graphic designer may have also learned web development so that they can offer their clients a complete website-making service. Consequently, freelancers add to the diversity of skills, talents, and expertise in the workplace.
They come from different parts of the world
Due to the nature of their work, the majority of freelancers work on a remote basis. They also often perform and deliver their work through online means. This means that companies can hire talent from different geographical locations. Hiring freelancers from different parts of the world allow companies to get insight into their perspective. This is beneficial for businesses like marketing or communications that rely on understanding a wide range of target audiences. Additionally, companies are able to extend their workforce on a global scale by hiring freelancers from different locations. This results in their workforce being more diverse in terms of nationalities.
As discussed in our post on ‘4 Advantages of the Gig Economy for Businesses’, one of the benefits of hiring freelancers is better output. Freelancers are diverse in terms of experience, background, age, and skill set, allowing businesses not only to receive quality work but also to diversify their workforce.