The independent workforce has accelerated rapidly, and shared coworking spaces have popped up just as quickly to accommodate it. A 2017 study showed that women make up 44% of the population in these shared spaces, so it might comes as little surprise that recently coworking communities have shifted their demographic focus more squarely to women.
Coworking spaces by and for women are undoubtedly on the rise! And interestingly, the trend seems to be about making these spaces more accessible to a broad swath of the population, not less.
By catering specifically to women, these places offer space and support designed for females amidst a professional world that has historically catered to men.
Plus, the #MeToo movement — which has ousted 417 high-profile people for sexual harassment at work — has shined a harsh light on an ugly truth: workplaces haven’t always been the most hospitable environments for women. It’s not hard to imagine that the patriarchal culture that often permeates the average workplace has seeped into coworking spaces too.
In looking for spaces that are more accessible and safe for them, women have been creating and turning to communities of their own to create, collaborate, and learn. And if the following eight female-focused coworking spaces are any indication, there is clearly value — and interest! — in offering these niche spaces where women can truly belong.
Seattle, WA (Capitol Hill & Fremont) – Los Angeles, CA (West LA & Marina del Rey)
Seattle-based company, The Riveter, says they design their workspaces for the way women work. That means a gorgeous aesthetic, a mix of open and private areas, tranquil meditation rooms, and plenty of educational and cultural programs to attend. The Riveter founder, Amy Sterner Nelson, and her team are also deeply committed to political activism, making it their mission to support women at work and in the world. Their second Los Angeles location in Marina del Rey officially opens today!
New York, NY - Washington D.C. - San Francisco, CA
The Wing’s focus is on female community, whether that means coming together for work or play. With three offices in New York, one in Washington D.C., another coming to San Francisco, and several more locations planned across the country and globe, the company is clearly growing rapidly. The Wing’s community and coworking spaces are inspired by the women’s club movement of the late 19th century. Much like those early women’s groups, The Wing encourages the advancement of women by coming together in a physical space to share ideas, opportunities, and conversations.
Mill Valley, CA
The Hivery is all about offering women new opportunities to learn, connect, and collaborate. With workshops, events, mentorships, and more, members are treated to an inclusive and inspiring community of fellow creatives. This Bay Area-based coworking space is focused on helping women find the work that fuels them, and pursuing that work in a beautiful space.
Carlsbad, CA - San Diego, CA - Phoenix, AZ
As the first international co-working space for women, Hera Hub may have arguably laid the foundation for this new trend. But Hera Hub isn’t just about women coming together to work in a shared office space — the company also supports its members as a business accelerator, offering education, mentoring, and collaborative opportunities to help women build a prosperous (and profitable) business. There is also an an angel investment division specifically for their female entrepreneurs.
Circle+Moon’s vision is to create a community of female leaders by offering the support, resources, and space necessary for women to find their voice and shine their light. In addition to their office space and weekly events such as manifestation workshops and lunch hour yoga, Circle+Moon also facilitates a weekly mastermind group to support women-owned businesses through connection, collaboration, and accountability.
Portland’s The Perlene bills itself as the perfect place to renew your spirit and get sh*t done. With a strong focus on feminine leadership (what Perlene’s founders say they hope becomes the standard), this female-focused coworking space offers not only a place for women to work, but also a place for them to learn, to connect, and to rest and recharge once the work is done (for that day, at least!). Part social club and part workspace, their (feminist) community always comes first at The Perlene.
Women in Kind
Women in Kind makes an important promise to its female members from the start: They won’t ask you to “figure it out” on your own. Instead, they’ll identify, anticipate, and provide what you need to succeed as a woman and a business owner — and integrate your time at work with your needs in life. To them, that means providing office spaces that are warm enough so that you’re not shivering at your desk, on-site dedicated play spaces for children so that you can work without worry or distraction, and access to lifestyle resources such as dry cleaning and meal planning services.
The Coven is a collaborative community of women and non-binary people — and it is the first organization of its kind in the midwest! More of a social club than an office space, The Coven bills itself as a place to “become the absolute best version of yourself through connection, collaboration, and content.” With countless events and workshops — ranging from “How She Built It” talks with local entrepreneurs, to meeting with local gubernatorial candidates, to volunteering at The Crisis Nursery — and services ranging from task management to meal prep, The Coven truly does offer its members an opportunity to make progress and find success in every aspect of their lives.
Publisher and author, Brooke Warner, emphasized the importance of women-only spaces: “Equality is not a zero-sum game. Women getting ahead doesn’t compromise men’s power. It just normalizes the reality that women do get ahead, and that we’re as capable as men of doing so.”
Thanks to these spaces, more and more women are showing what they’re capable of by finding their place and taking up space in the world. We can get behind any movement that encourages more women to feel that they belong and can truly be themselves.
Images via The Wing, The Riveter, The Hivery, Circle+Moon, The Coven