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The rise of the platform economy during the last decade is one of the main disrupting forces for European labour markets. While standard employment remains the norm, platforms are expanding their reach and diversifying into novel business models. In doing so, they are also attracting an increasing number of women. This policy brief investigates why women are joining the platform economy and how the motivations to perform work on platforms differ between genders. It shows that while women join platforms to gain an additional income and because it allows them the flexibility to combine work with household chores or family commitments, men are driven by the opportunities provided by platforms to work globally and to expand their client base. At the same time, findings suggest that online platforms seem to provide women with a link to the labour market that can potentially prevent their withdrawal from the labour force during different life stages. These findings suggest that policy action should focus on extending working hours regulations and work–life balance measures to all platform workers, irrespective of employment status, and promote equal sharing of care responsibilities between women and men.

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