Despite the absence of many traditional barriers to gender equality, there continues to be a gender pay gap in new job economies (i.e., the “gig economy” or “platform work”). Taking a novel approach to the study of the gender pay gap, we use a completely gender-blind online work setting to examine the effect of a covert source of gender inequality: differential pay expectations. Our findings reveal that women’s lower pay expectations lead to lower earnings. Crucially, these differential pay expectations appear to be shaped by income disparities in the traditional job economy. This research provides important new insight into the endurance of the gender pay gap, suggesting that structural inequities can carry over to new economies in subtle, yet powerful ways.