Friday, 11 May 2018 02:19

Mums going gangbusters in the Australian gig economy

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Airtasker is talking up its gig economy marketplace, noting that in Australia right now, there are "114,800 mums who both work, study and care for children under the age of 15" – and you can do it, too. 

Despite all the conveniences offered by modern technology, the enduring pressures of parenthood still weigh heavier on shoulders of Australian women, according to Airtasker

We're told that "the statistics reflect this issue better than anything – while the proportion of mothers who are actively in the workforce has increased from 46.1% to 53.4% since 1996, full-time working mums are still twice as likely as their male spouses to be doing 15 hours+ housework at home".

"The 2016 ABS data highlights this issue in greater detail, noting that more than a third of part-time employed mums clock in an additional 15 hours of unpaid domestic work each week. Comparatively, only 9% of dads working part time are found doing the same amount of housework".

While there are some signs that this housework divide is narrowing in Australia, progress is slow. For many working mums, the traditional offerings of the economy don’t suit, with more and more looking to a new frontier — the gig economy — as the solution.

That's clearly evident when you see that Australia's top Airtasker earned $171,000 last year.

But what about a stat from one of the mothers in question?

Here we hear form Annika de Bruijne, 35, who is "one of the top rated mothers using the community marketplace Airtasker. Annika, who describes herself as a 'Jill' of all trades, has received exclusively perfect ratings for her work on the platform".

She said: “After completing my commerce degree, I worked in various professional roles. Starting as a human resources manager and rising up the ranks. I’ve spent time on various learning and development teams in one of Australia's top law firms and only a few years ago, I was working as a national payroll manager to over 3000 staff.”

With the birth of her daughter, Annika’s career as a HR professional was put on pause, as she chose to exit the workforce and become a full-time mum.

“I wanted to be there for the first years of my daughter’s life, but I had to balance this with my desire to continue working. Using Airtasker meant I could still earn an income during this period by working casually online or locally.”

Making use of the flexibility of the platform, Annika says she takes on jobs of all varieties, earning anything from $5 to $100. Week to week, Annika’s hours on the platform vary with the growing demands of parenthood and intermitted professional part-time roles.

When asked about her perfect record on Airtasker, Annika attributes her ratings not to her professional career, but to her skills as a mum. “By nature, mums are required to be highly organised and able to multi task, and I feel like it’s these skills in particular that help me be the best Airtasker possible.”

Even with her daughter entering daycare, Annika is "still using the platform to find work that lets her balance her parental responsibilities and income needs. Airtasker, like many other gig economy marketplaces, is providing options for work that relieve pain points reflected in the 2018 Mother’s Day statistics".

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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