Do they meet the needs of female entrepreneurs?
As co-working spaces have grown in popularity among people seeking to rent office space to work independently, co-working facilities designed especially for women have also spread. These businesses cater to female entrepreneurs by providing an abundance of collaborative space and a pleasing ambience, programs on honing business skills and opportunities to pitch potential investors. Many have also adopted formal anti-sexual harassment policies. However, co-working spaces oriented toward women have had to address whether to accept male members. While several have done so since their inception, one, The Wing, was sued recently over its female-only membership policy and has changed its rules to allow men to join.
Some key takeaways:
The market for co-working spaces oriented toward women seems to be growing, with several providers expanding across the United States and into other countries.
The cost of joining can be prohibitive for some potential members, and some facilities offer scholarships, or reduced rates for those who agree to perform volunteer duties.
While these facilities resemble business accelerators in some ways, they are less structured and do not require entrepreneurs to offer an equity stake in their businesses to those running the space.
Resources for Further Study
Kinugasa-Tsui, Kenny, “Co-Working Space Design,” Images Publishing Group, 2018. An architect provides an in-depth analysis of best practices in designing co-working space.
Kwiatkowski, Angel, “Ultimate Coworking Launch Sequence: How to Build a Successful Coworking Community,” CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. A co-working consultant offers advice, templates, checklists and tips for creating an engaging co-working space.
Fessler, Leah, “If co-working is the future, then it shouldn’t look like a frat house,” Quartz, Sept. 6, 2018, http://tinyurl.com/
Gotthardt, Alexxa, “The All-Female Social Club Helping Creative Women Advance their Careers,” Artsy, March 4, 2018, http://tinyurl.com/
Lewis-Kraus, Gideon, “The Rise of the WeWorking Class,” The New York Times Magazine, Feb. 24, 2019, http://tinyurl.com/
Montgomery, Mimi, “I Got Into The Wing in DC. Here’s Why I Can’t Join,” The Washingtonian, April 12, 2018, http://tinyurl.com/
Richardson, Jillian, “The frustrating truth I learned about co-working spaces after I was sexually harassed in one,” Quartz, Dec. 13, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/
Reports and Studies
“2019 Small Business Owner Report: The Male vs Female Divide,” PlanBeyond, accessed Feb. 15, 2019, http://tinyurl.com/
Spreitzer, Gretchen, Peter Bacevice and Lyndon Garrett, “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces,” Harvard Business Review, September 2015, http://tinyurl.com/
The Next Step
Castrillon, Caroline, “Why It’s Time For Female Entrepreneurs To Break The Money Taboo,” Forbes, Feb. 17, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/
Penrod, Emma, “Why Men Should Invest In Women-Owned Businesses,” Utah Business, Feb. 13, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/
Sweeney, Deborah, “Female Founders Fund On Why Investing In Female Talent Matters,” Forbes, Jan. 24, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/
Spencer, Erin, “Is There A Case For Women-Centric, Co-Ed Coworking Spaces?” Forbes, Jan. 7, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/
Steinmetz, Katy, “Women-Only Spaces Are Part of a Coworking Craze. Some Might Also Be Violating the Law,” Time, April 20, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/
Westphall, Kimber, “How New Co-Working Concept The Slate Plans to Stand Out,” D Magazine, Feb. 18, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/
Global Workspace Association
2225 E. Bayshore Road, Suite 100, Palo Alto, CA 94303
An association of professionals who own, design, operate and invest in shared workspace.
8885 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 237, San Diego, CA 92108
Co-working site for women founded in 2011.
594 Dean St., Brooklyn, NY 11238
Co-gender co-working site with 29 locations across the United States.
747 Belmont Pl. E., Seattle, WA 98102
A market research and strategy agency that looks at the state of small-business owners.
1517 12th Ave., Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98122
Co-working space for women with four current locations and five more planned for 2019.
280 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon, VA 20170
A co-working space for women in the Washington suburbs.
115 W. 18th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10011
A co-gender co-working site with 562 locations across the country and overseas.
45 E. 20th St., Penthouse, New York, NY 10003
A co-working and social club for women with six locations and five more to open in 2019.