01/21/18

Women-Only Coworking Spaces Are Popping Up Everywhere

In November 2017, the coworking company WeWork led a $32 million round of funding for the women-only coworking space The Wing, based in New York City. The Wing started in Flatiron in 2016, expanded to Soho in 2017, and plans to open spaces in Brooklyn and Washington, DC, in early 2018.

The Wing isn’t the only organization catering to entrepreneurial and freelance women looking for a place to work. Coworking options for women — both women-only and women-centric — are opening across the country.

Why women-focused spaces? Traditional co-working spaces tend to have a male-dominated culture. The founders of women-only spaces are looking to create a supportive environment designed to fit women’s needs.

“Women face more barriers and challenges,” Stacy Taubman, CEO of Rise Collaborative Workspace in St. Louis, MO, told USA Today. “Having other like-minded individuals around who can have that ‘Me too’ moment can really keep you going and feeling inspired and capable.”

Women-only spaces may offer amenities such as lactation rooms, childcare, beauty samples and sanitary supplies, and a library of all-women authors. The interior design leans more toward a female aesthetic. Some spaces offer mentorship programs and workshops geared toward the challenges women face.

Of course, some people question the concept. But Audrey Gelman, cofounder of The Wing, told Entrepreneur, “Members say they’re so much more productive, and they feel like there’s less pressure in an environment without men.”

Research supports the value of a woman-supportive environment. One study found “being the ‘token’ female could deregulate the body’s stress response – leading to greater vulnerability to illness.” Plus, a women-only environment reduces the potential for sexual harassment and stressful male-female interactions.

In addition, 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.

Here’s a sampling of women-focused coworking spaces across the country:

For women who want to cowork and find a traditional space doesn’t meet their needs, spaces created and designed for women can remove barriers and challenges and help women reach their potential.

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About the author

Carol Wiley
Carol Wiley started her writing career as a technical writer for Boeing. Since then, she's written blog posts, case studies, white papers, and more for businesses large and small. These days, Carol is a regular contributor to Lendio News. Carol has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Virginia and both an MBA in Finance and Certificate of Technical Writing from University of Washington.

Comments

  1. While I can understand the inclusiveness, the privacy, the independence of an all women office, it is divisive, it alienates, and it discriminates in the opposite direction. If women do not like men, that is one thing, but in this world men are a big part of everything, like it or not. The best defense is good offense, not a safe space that projects fear and mystery. If it is about sharing space, then women leaders should be able to overcome their insecurities and learn to work with men. This concept of women only will just build resentment from the men who will think twice about doing business with them. Just a word of caution.

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