Society for Economic Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Workplace climates are changing, especially for women. With the rise of opportunities for remote work, formalized programs like Tulsa Remote looked to spur local economic development by incentivizing workers to move to and work from their community. This research looks at, in a time when women are making significant strides in workplace equality and opportunity, why many women are opting out of the traditional workplace completely. From gig work to solo- and entre-preneurship, women are breaking out of the traditional workplace in droves and looking for their tribe. Some were forced to opt out due to hostile work environments, others found their interests and desired lifestyle didn't align with the confines of a traditional office place. Many of these women looked towards the Tulsa Remote program. Of the thousands who applied, 50 were selected, making up half of the inaugural cohort. Through participant observation, on the ground for a year in Tulsa, OK, this research follows the women through their journey, from application to settling in to their new community and establishing a place in their new tribe. By exploring their motivations for opting out and understanding the situation they've created for themselves, we are able to apply our learnings in a way that helps workplaces to make the changes necessary that keep women from being forced to opt out. We are also able to apply these learnings and share with organizations looking to support women as they continue to opt out.