Can Freelancing Help Close the Tech Gender Gap?

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Apr. 23 2013, Published 11:06 a.m. ET

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From— The big wigs at Elance, an online freelance marketplace, noticed something in their numbers recently: when it comes to freelance paychecks earned through the site, women’s are growing much faster than mens’.

“The split on the site is roughly 55/45,” said CMO Rich Pearsonwhen he stopped by FORBES on Monday to discuss Elance’snewest research on women and online work. “But in terms of earnings men are experiencing year over year growth of 40% while women’s earnings are growing at 50%. We saw that,” he told me, “And we knew we had to dig deeper.”According to the research released by Elance Tuesday, not only are women’s earnings growing, but 74% of the women surveyed (2,777) say that online freelance work provides them more opportunities to succeed in technology careers over traditional onsite or full-time work.

“For women in tech, online work is a level playing field where merit and results win,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance in a press release issued this morning. “Online work provides an attractive avenue to neutralize gender discrimination around the world and create flexible professional opportunities not available in traditional job markets.”

The key findings were as follows:

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