Listen up, ladies (and gents). You’ve likely heard of digital nomadism by now. It’s a movement of individuals empowered and determined to work remotely while traveling. It’s a thrilling time for the next generation of professionals, who will have more opportunities to market their skills around the world and fewer obligations tying them down to a place they don’t want to be.
It’s all pretty exciting, right? And you might even think that people belonging to demographics not traditionally favored by the corporate ladder would have greater opportunities in the midst of this remote revolution. After all, the stats in corporate America are pretty bleak.
In 2016, women were paid 80%of what their male peers received in the United States. In addition, a 2017 study found that women were even hired less for entry-level positions, despite more women having college degrees. Seems like ditching this messed-up system can only improve things, right?
Well yes and no. First, the bad news: the gender pay gap is still kickin’ in the digital nomad community. According to this study from self-reported remote workers, the top tier of earners contains twice as many men as women. Can we not escape gender discrimination even working from a laptop in the Maldives? In addition, there are simply more guys out there. One digital nomad survey from welance in 2015 estimates 64% of digital nomads are male. Digital nomadism, yet another male-dominated space, sigh.
The question is… Are women better off in the cyberspace workplace?
And the answer can be yes. The digital sphere can give us ladies the chance to ditch the sexist corporate ladder and the claustrophobic cubicle to move on to bigger and better things. Here’s how:
Breaking gender roles
Picture this person: a brave world traveler with laptop in hand, alone yet unafraid of the unknown lands, peoples and cultures waiting to be explored and embraced. Did you picture a man or a woman?
For some reason, our society tells women to be weary of traveling alone. We are told it’s too dangerous because women are more likely to be preyed upon. Or we’re expected to stay at home, to find a husband or to raise children.
But the fact of the matter, is that women face danger in their own neighborhoods and saying travel is too dangerous for us is a toxic myth aimed to keep women from realizing their own adventurous dreams. Violence and sexual violence against female tourists often receive a disproportionate amount of news coverage. This New York Times article sums up many women’s thoughts on the matter: Sexual violence is always a risk, and they do not let it stop them from traveling.
As for the naysayers who don’t approve of women wandering the globe, they have another thing coming. It takes a little courage and lot of moxie to go against the grain, but I believe in you! Even if your sexist, homophobic aunt gives you dirty looks this Thanksgiving.
Reevaluation of worth
In breaking free from the corporate workplace, women also have the chance to redefine themselves and understand the skills they have. The fact is that women’s abilities are not properly appreciated in the traditional office. When you take your skills on the road, you can find out just how valuable your experience and knowledge are. Why keep taking cases for your firm when your chance of getting promoted is a fraction of a male peer’s? Why lend your skills to a 9-to-5 job that doesn’t let you expand creatively and try new things? Why not be your own boss? Or at least, work with people who value your skills enough to listen to your needs.
The very nature of remote work changes the game. You don’t need to be judged by how good you look in a pantsuit if you skip the corporate meetings altogether. The digital sphere surely has its own biases, but it gives you the chance to push your limits and hone your craft.
Girl-cotting a flawed system
The digital sphere also presents the opportunity to avoid the greatest pitfalls of the corporate world. Of course, it gets rid of the inconvenience of exhausting commutes to a dusty cubicle. But there’s more.
The United States, for example, is the only country which doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave for new mothers. Bad news for those of you ladies reading from the U.S. right? For those women who do want to have kids and support themselves with a job, options are limited.
This is an issue we could write about all day, but it’s not a problem for digital nomads. They can work from wherever they wish, whether that means bringing kids on the road or visiting friends and family around the world. There’s no red tape, or excuses, or stigma to deal with for the remote worker. You make your own schedule. To all our female and male readers out there, don’t we want to support women? So let’s protest a system that needs a major overhaul. We can thrive without it.
Leading the way for other women
Finally, there’s so much positive change that we can enact, leading the way for other girls by pursuing our own dreams of travel. As more and more women enter into the digital workplace, we simultaneously fight against the sexism of the corporate office and the male domination of the digital sphere. Communities of girl-friendlytravel and inclusive travel are forming all across the world wide web, and this army of feminist warriors can become stronger if we all follow our dreams.
If we join together we can beat back stigma that woman can’t travel alone, we can bring girl bosses to the forefront of every industry and make digital nomadism a dream that is possible for all people.
Learn how you can start the journey of a lifetime here.