Picture a Coworking space in a hip, urban sector of a big city. It’s easy to envision young male professionals bonding over a ping-pong table or a fridge stocked with beer. Coworking are often so packed full of men who work in the tech industry, they might as well be called “broworking” spaces. Instead, imagine a space with a more female aesthetic. Pale pink walls, library of all-women authors, tipi reading corners and of course, the oversized bathrooms with mirrors on every wall. All-women coworking spaces is a growing trend that’s been breaking the mold of some male-dominant spaces. Created by women and for women, this trend is slowly expanding to industrial-chic streets across the country. It’s about time we say NO to bro culture.
A supportive community of women
From cozy community startups like The Coven in Minneapolis, to a business with much larger ambitions, like The Wing – which has locations spreading internationally, the women-only office share is the “it” work sanctuary for our era. In an interview with The Week, Liz Giel from The Coven revealed that that their space aims to serve as a refuge and a support system for women to feel both inspired and encouraged. Surrounded by strong and independent women, the females here can receive empowerment, take risks in the company of female collaborators and mentors without the sweat or frustration of laboring in a man’s world. It also reduces the potential for sexual harassment and stressful male-female interactions. By day, work gets done; at night a bar opens and female speakers give talks ranging from topics such as financial health, anxiety and body positivity. There are beauty stations, hair-braiding workshops, lactation rooms and even a shower.
Feeling at home
The basic concept of this trend is to create a safe and supportive work environment as well as a professional home base. Whether it’s a typical Coworking location, or one of these women-centered spaces, coworking is built on a sense of community, cohesion and inclusiveness that it creates for its members. However, an all-women space sets itself apart by providing women a comfort level otherwise unable to achieve at male-dominant coworking locations. Some women feel a different energy at a coworking space without men and are more comfortable showing up in yoga pants rather than business wear. In addition, these spaces encourage women to be open and form relationships with fellow members who will understand and be supportive of their needs. Rise, in St.Louis, even created a mentorship program for teenage women to meet with members and shadow them so they can learn from those successful adults who they can emulate in the future. It’s benefits such as these that go beyond just providing the basic amenities in Coworking.
That said, some people still question the idea of the concept arguing that it’s more exclusive than inclusive. But as we observe the rise of all-women spaces throughout the years, it’s not hard to see that the future remains promising for this trend.