The amount of self-employed workers between September and November 2013 hit a record high with numbers reaching almost 4.4 million.

The latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) states that the number of workers registered as self-employed rose by 3.6% since 2012.

In comparison, the growth of employees rose by only 1.3% in the same time frame, suggesting that more and more UK workers are shunning regular employment for the self-employed lifestyle.

The statistics also show that the number of self-employed female workers is growing twice as fast as the male workforce. However, women still account for under a third of total self-employed workers.

This topic was addressed in a 2013 report by the RBS Group on women in enterprise. The report stated that:

“There is a… complex combination of socio-economic factors related to education, careers, domestic responsibilities and role models which effectively dissuade more women than we might otherwise expect from considering entrepreneurial activity and self-employment.”

The report concluded that the situation could be improved by instilling more entrepreneurial aspirations in young women at school, particularly through the promotion of businesswomen as role models.