With more people working remotely, or as solopreneurs and freelancers, coworking spaces have become increasingly popular in cities globally. However, many of these have been male-dominated spaces, with staples like ping pong tables and beer kegs. This can result in social isolation for women, sexual harassment, or other impacts from workplace sexism.
If you want to be successful in a coworking space, it is important that you find one that fits your specific needs. There are now several coworking spaces for women that emphasize community, mental health, and professional success by creating wellness-focused environments. In these places, women can support one another to reach their goals.
“The Wing”, located in Manhattan, New York City, is a women-only coworking space that strives to allow females of different job fields and backgrounds to join together for assistance, networking opportunities, and improved mental health. “The Wing” is an open-concept space located in the Flatiron neighborhood of the Ladies Mile Historic District. It features feminine decor, meeting rooms, a library, a breastfeeding room, a beauty room, showers, and a cafe with wine and cocktails.
“Shecosystem” is a “work-life space” situated on Bloor Street West in Toronto that proudly states it provides for all women, transgender, and non-binary people. Here, individuals can work whilst also being able to better their well-being through community bonding and networking with like-minded people. The space has been refurbished with cozy brick and natural light flowing throughout, alongside a lounge, multipurpose studio, private offices, healing room with massage table, harvest table, and kitchen.
Gabrielle Cenona, 25, a Shecosystem regular and woman working in the tech industry says “Being in tech and business is hard – I’m glad spaces like this exist and allow women, entrepreneurs, to not have to choose between their business and their identity.”
“Paper Dolls” on San Vincente Boulevard in Los Angeles started with a series of intimate dinners and has grown into a beautiful studio space that helps women succeed professionally, free from outside judgment. This studio offers a flexible workspace with private offices and a conference room that can be rented on either a drop-in or monthly basis. If you need a break or want something to eat, the snacks are in the snack area! We’re expanding soon and will have locations opening up in Seattle, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Currently, there are three coworking spaces specifically for women, transgender, and non-binary people. These places aim to provide a supportive environment where members can collaborate with others, network, and be part of a community spirit. Coworking spaces with childcare are also available, positioning people to work and parent in the same place. Coworking spaces are also becoming “boutiques” — because they provide specific products and services that their customer base wants and needs.
The number of coworking spaces worldwide is increasing rapidly, with an estimated 11,300 in existence as of 2018. This number is expected to reach 13,800 by 2018 according to Statista, a German market research firm. Since there is insufficient statistical evidence detailing the number of women’s coworking spaces, both The Wing and Paper Dolls are preparing to launch multiple areas across the United States due to popular demand. Within a day of announcing their new Washington, D.C. location, The Wing received one thousand applications.
The startup world and corporate America are chiefly male, thereby disrupting women’s, trans peoples’, and non-binary folks’ ability to thrive due to the Discrimination they experience. When working in a positive environment, employees can move forward without distractions and focus on their individual success. The ever-changing landscape of work will only lead to a greater demand for unique workspaces.
When women design and construct their own workspaces, they are able to effectively surmount barriers impeding their progress in male-dominated office settings. The Wing, Shecosystem, and Paper Dolls are coworking spaces that allow women to feel supported and connected with like-minded individuals. These spaces also provide opportunities for women to gain confidence in their career paths and build meaningful relationships.
[Related: 6 Ways to Make Your Workspace Beautiful]
(Image courtesy of Shecosystem)