Digital nomads are becoming the new influencers. Images of laptops in picturesque locations have become standard in news feeds, and it’s easy to see why many people aspire to take their work remote and join in this global trend of traveling while working.
But there might be another reason for women to take to this kind of lifestyle. According to a recent study, female digital nomads are the group of remote workers most likely to be out-earning their male counterparts.
The ‘Anywhere Workers’ study found that in general, there is a remote work wage gap, with men more likely to be earning over $100k than women. While the gender pay gap is essentially non-existent for those who have worked remotely for less than 4 years, the pay gap grows alongside experience. Men who have worked remotely for 7+ years are 10% more likely to earn over $50k per year than women.Part of the reason men are likely to out-earn women is the fact that they are much more likely to work in some of the higher paid professions.
While female remote workers were more likely to work in Admin / Support or Marketing / PR, men were much more likely to be Engineers, with 16% of male respondents to the survey working in Engineering alongside just 2% of female respondents. This is the youngest group of remote workers (an average of 31 years old), but also the profession most likely to be earning over $100k per year.
The one female remote working group that is likely to earn more than men is female digital nomads – those remote workers who travel while they work. According to the study, 44% of female nomads earn over $50k and just 39% of male nomads earn the same.
Women in the creative / design industries are faring the best, with female nomads in these professions 21% more likely to earn over $50k than men.
It’s likely that female digital nomads are able to out-earn females who generally work from their home country because they are less attached to family and other home obligations. The same freedom and flexibility that allows women to live the digital nomad lifestyle also allow them to choose to work more than they might otherwise be able to. Nomadic women are more likely to be full-time employees or self-employed on a retainer basis than non-nomadic women, who are more likely to work part-time or on a freelance/project basis.
Not just about the money
With the trend of traveling while you work growing exponentially (apparently there will be 1 billion digital nomads by 2035), more and more women are throwing caution to the wind and hitting the road with their laptops.
While they are managing to make it work financially, wages are not the only benefit of remote work. For the majority of remote workers(62%), the biggest benefit is the freedom and flexibility to live and work from where they choose. This is even more pronounced for women, who value flexibility more than men. And while men are more likely to value freedom the younger they are, women continue to do so as they get older, with women aged 36-50 the most likely to value freedom. On the other hand, men are more likely than women to value remote work benefits like cost savings and convenience.
With the gender wage gap still in full effect, it’s important for women to be able to take part in life experiences like long-term travel, without losing out on the opportunity to earn more (or at least as much as) men in similar roles. Nomadic women are making the most of their travel-fuelled lifestyles, with only 45% of them traveling to less than 3 countries per year, while 57% of men travel to less than 3 countries per year.
For more data from the Anywhere Workers study, access the full report here.