Though there are things that unite all contractors, there’s no doubting that they are a varied and mixed group, with a spectrum of skill sets and qualities on offer.

Some would look at contracting as quite a progressive way of working. It’s not the traditional employment paradigm, gives the employee a different kind of power, and brings various benefits to both employer and employee.

One thing often discussed with regards to ‘traditional’ employment is the gender pay gap. This archaic problem is the cause of much frustration for workers throughout the UK, and reflects a bygone era. More should certainly be done to eradicate gender pay gaps, and equality should undoubtedly prevail.

Now it seems that contracting and working as your own boss is not only a progressive way of working from a practical point of view, but it also an area where these problems are far less present.

Recently released research from has found that the gender pay gap is ‘virtually extinct’ among contractors, freelancers and the self-employed.

In a number of selected industries, the research shows that women matched men in terms of money earned and jobs won over the past 12 months.

These statistics are unlike those given by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) with regards to pay between the genders in traditional employment. The average gap is currently at 14.1% across all age groups and industry, so says the ONS.

Why might there be such a difference between traditional employment and contractors and freelancers when it comes to gender?

Well it might have to do with being able to provide specific skills. If a worker is employed to do a specific job, then it makes sense that the most qualified and appropriate worker will be given the job. That worker’s gender should be an irrelevance.

Admittedly, that should be the case in all employment. But perhaps due to the hiring policies of the past, there is a continued gap today as the people making the decisions may be somewhat reluctant to mess with the status quo.

But with the world of work changing at a rapid rate, a shift towards fairer employment seems to be in the offing, and contractors and freelancers are leading the charge it seems.