Why do I need a women's coworking Space?
Sure, big picture, women have made progress over the last 100 years, but, there’s no doubt, we still have some work to do. Women still face considerable barriers and obstacles in a workplace designed by men, for men, created in a bygone era. Things are exponentially worse for women of color.
The Case For Women's Spaces: Women Face Unique Challenges In The Workplace
Today there are a vast number of challenges women face that we aren’t able to discuss in mixed or male-dominated work environments such as sexism, harassment, unconscious bias, coded bias, misogynoir, lack of access to capital, the pay gap, women’s health, motherhood, and caregiving to name a few. We, more often than not, filter out conversations about those important issues.
Men Have Always Had Their Own Spaces, It's Time For Women Only Clubs
While some may balk at women carving out space for themselves, women-only spaces still matter. In reality, men have had (and protected) their own spaces for years. Gentlemen’s clubs were originally set up by men from Britain’s upper classes in the 18th and succeeding centuries and reached the height of their influence in the late 19th century. There are also many men’s clubs in major American cities, not forgetting golf courses where access for women has been restricted and a good number of business relationships are still being built.
Women's Spaces Are Not About Blaming Or Punishing Men
While we fully acknowledge there are still too many toxic people in the workplace who need to be held accountable for their actions, we’re not specifically blaming individual men here, but addressing the establishmentas a whole. The reality is the vast majority of cultures are patriarchies, where men are more likely than women to hold positions of social, economic, and political power. There’s an inherent imbalance in our system.
In Women's Coworking Spaces, Women Aren't Set Up To Compete Against Each Other
On top of this, these male-centered environments have traditionally set women up to compete with each other. A scarcity mindset of only “one seat at the table” still prevails. Female rivalry is fueled by a workplace culture that does not provide a level playing field for women, equal pay, and/or equal opportunity for women to reach leadership positions.
Women Have Different Needs From Men That Are Addressed In Women's Coworking Spaces and Women-Only Clubs
While things have somewhat improved for women in the workplace over the past 50 years, we still keep taking steps back, particularly when we hit crises like the ones we’ve experienced the past couple of years. Women have different needs from men that are rarely addressed in the traditional workplace. Along with fair compensation and benefits, they value work/life integration, including permanently remote or hybrid work, shortened work weeks, or generous paid time off packages. They also highly value diverse, inclusive, and human-centric organizations.
Women Thrive And Grow In Women's Coworking Spaces
More than ever women need women-centered communities, both onlineand in person. Spaces where they can let down their guard and stop playing superwoman, share their stories more freely. Network, set goals, explore new ways of working, and design a life that better aligns with their personal values and unique biology. It also gives women more space to pay attention to the other women beside them and instead of competing, become their allies.
In Women's Coworking Spaces Women Do Support Other Women
In women-only spaces, women not only have more space to breathe but other women people in their corner. Women in fact do want to support other women. At The Lola, we have been intentional about creating a supportive, inclusive community, but even right from the beginning and time and time again, we’ve seen when women gather together in a neutral environment competition leaves the room, and a desire to help each other prevails. That is incredibly powerful.
Consider Joining A Women's Coworking space. When Women Support Each Other Incredible Things Happen
Don’t underestimate the power of women supporting each other at work. When women supportively hold each other accountable we are more likely to reach our goals. We can find the support and business partners we so badly need to grow and thrive. When women amplify each other there is real power in numbers. The data shows that women who support women are more successful.