Good Morning America

Katie Kindelan

November 18, 2021

When Kara Moore, a mom of three, returned to the workforce last year after nine years as a stay-at-home mom, she struggled to find a job.

Moore, 42, who holds a bachelor’s degree and spent nearly a decade working in corporate America, eventually took a part-time job with a local school district.

“The job wasn’t even a fit, it was just out of necessity that I took it,” Moore, of Delta, Pennsylvania, told “Good Morning America,” noting that a part-time role worked better for her financially because it meant she did not have to pay for child care.

Around six months into that job, the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States and Moore said her role was eliminated.

While home and unemployed, Moore, a single mom who had at the time recently separated from her husband, signed up to work with Instacart, a grocery delivery service.

Moore says she is now making nearly five times what she did in her school district job. And since she can set her own schedule, she does not have to put her children in daycare.

“If I was working in an office, corporate-style job, I would be paying for daycare and I wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” she said. “Now I’m home every night with my daughters. I’m able to take them to sports and be home with them for homework. I can take off if my kids are sick.”

When Moore signed on with Instacart, she joined a growing number of women who have recently jumped into the gig economy, an umbrella term that applies to all people who effectively work as their own bosses, whether on app-based platforms or as entrepreneurs and freelancers.

At Uber, the number of women who earn on the app has increased nearly 80% since the beginning of the year, while the number of men increased by about 40%. On Uber Eats, more than 40% of delivery drivers in the U.S. are female, and that share is growing, a company spokesperson told ABC News.

At Instacart, nearly 70% of its shoppers identify as women, and nearly half say they have children living at home, according to the company.

DoorDash, a technology that connects consumers with their favorite local and national businesses, says 58% of delivery workers on its platform are female and that the flexibility to design their own schedule is a top reason they choose DoorDash.

“In the past year, more women than men are coming to DoorDash to make up for lost income and to cover expenses,” said Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, the company’s vice president of communications and policy. “When you think about the pandemic and the disproportionate impact on women, it makes a lot of sense that a flexible schedule that allows them to set their own hours is something that can be appealing.” …

“Women are still in a lot of cases predominantly responsible for a lot of care in the home and in families with children,” said Isabel Soto, director of labor market policy at the American Action Forum, a policy institute. “The gig economy allows you to make your own hours, set your own rates of pay and own your work in a way that the traditional work structure doesn’t allow you to do, so it makes sense that it’s attractive to women.” …

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