As the freelance workforce continues to grow, more people are taking notice each day. In fact, just today the Financial Times -- one of the most important international newspapers focusing on business and the economy -- published a profile of our founder, Sara Horowitz.
The international business community is definitely paying attention to what’s happening with the new workforce. From the profile:
Sara Horowitz is in demand. The founder of the Freelancers Union, which has 250,000 independent contractors on its books, is struck by the attention from politicians and think tanks. “In the last nine months every foundation has been having a ‘future of work’ conversation,” she says.
The trigger has been the growth of the “gig economy”, she says. Companies including TaskRabbit or Fiverr, which find freelancers for tasks such as home removals or producing videos, have crystallised the conversation. “It gives people legitimate anxiety when they see the race to the bottom [in terms of pay and conditions] of these micro-gig sites.”
Sara then went on to address some of the issues present in the way the freelance workforce is perceived -- and what corporate interests are doing about it:
The biggest frustration, she says, is the slowness of those outside the commercial world to take on board the changes in the workforce. “Freelancers know this is the way more and more people will be working — and the fastest group moving into this space are investor-backed companies in Silicon Valley looking at freelancers as a market. The social sector and government have been much slower.”
It is disingenuous to see technological innovation as the result of brilliant entrepreneurs. “If you look at India, the reason it’s so good at IT is investment in education. Silicon Valley wouldn’t have happened without the investment in universities. We’re not making those investments any more. It’s so short term. The role of labour is to put those conversations on the table.”
Politics will change, according to Ms Horowitz. “It’s not left or right any more. It’s all wide open.”
Interested in reading more? Check out the full article (paywall).