The lifestyle of “digital nomads” seems to appeal to more and more individuals. The benefits it offers in terms of freedom and independence is increasingly capturing the attention — and giving further opportunity to — women, granting full control over their income in the male-dominated tech industry that is, so far, leading digital nomadism.
According to MBO Partners’ 2018 “State of Independence in America” research, nearly five million independent workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads, 31 percent of which are female. The study also states that 17 million people aspire to someday become nomadic.
A digital nomad from Mongolia, Buya Kublai, 35, obtained a degree in computer science after finishing his MBA. “Digital nomads get the same salary but end up saving a lot of money from renting an apartment in the US and instead living, for example, on an island where for $200 you will get a really nice apartment for the whole month, while in San Francisco the same apartment would cost you about $3500,” says Kublai, who ran his own business for three years before choosing a fully nomadic lifestyle that allows him to earn a living while remotely working from different countries with the help of digital tools.
The founder of Nomad List, Pieter Levels, predicts that there will be one billion digital nomads by 2035, becoming one of the fastest-growing markets in the industry-occupation mix. With the current exponential growth given through to the pleasing benefits, a diverse career path also provides a background for less financial difference among males and females as it sets an equal opportunity platform for everybody capable of starting.
Popular careers within the digital nomad community include creative jobs and the tech industry occupations: developers, programmers, website and app developers, which have increasing representation among women, qualifying them to start their own individual careers on top of saving money on living expenses and pushing towards the still existing gender wage gap often caused by the missing opportunity.
Courtney Costello, 23, from Florida, has recently started working as a digital nomad specializing as a marketing consultant. “Most of the communities I’m present in online are typically for female digital nomads or female entrepreneurs. I definitely enjoy these types of groups more, and I think it’s amazing how women from all over are now connecting through a common interest and passion,“ says Costello, who has been to 20 countries since she started to pursue the nomadic lifestyle in May 2019.
“I wake up every day excited to work, and that was never the case in all my life.“
In big tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Google or Microsoft, women rarely make up more than 20 percent of the employees of tech jobs, according to Statista research based on specific reports from each company. Kublai sees the digital nomad community more balanced than the other tech workforces where women are still in less prominent positions compared to the majority leadership positions held by men. “As far as the gender goes it’s pretty much 50/50,” said Kublai, describing the digital nomad community.
The digital nomad lifestyle impacts equal gender pay and opportunity, giving anyone a genuine chance to express their leadership skills while avoiding competing in a gender-biased industry. It also offers the possibility of limitless freedom, which often plays a bigger factor in choosing this lifestyle than any financial reward. “Freedom is one of the values I appreciate the most in my life,” says Markéta Karvaiová, 29, who became a digital nomad two years ago. It gave her an uncompromisable state of independence.
Kublai continues to run his business for web design and mobile apps on a cloud computing system while traveling. “Coming to the same office in the same company with the same people you start to feel trapped. We prefer to go outside and abroad, that is what gives people a feeling of control over life and time,” says Kublai, who supports women in the industry that is promising a better working future for both genders.