A Look at the Rise of Women Only Coworking Spaces

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Jon Muller
Jon Muller
Jon Muller is and engineer and the founder of Ergonomic Trends where he blogs about ergonomics, office productivity, and ways to stay healthy at the office.

With a rise in the numbers of coworking spaces catered exclusively to women, check out a few of the high-profile facilities and what they have to offer.

With the total number of coworking members worldwide set to balloon to 5.1 million people by 2022 compared to just 1.74 million in 2017, it’s easy to overlook a new trend quietly changing the coworking landscape in recent years: women only coworking spaces.

Despite some hiccups and controversies along the way, co-working spaces that either cater exclusively to women, or at the very least are women centric, have garnered a lot of attention and fans along the way.

It’s About Empowerment, Not Entitlement

Felena Hanson, the founder of a women only coworking space Hera Hub explained in an interview last year why such spaces are flourishing:

“Women have long operated in a business world we didn’t create. So many women feel like outsiders in various industries that it’s great to create room where our needs come first.”

In the US, there are now coworking spaces catered exclusively to women scattered around the country. Some of the more high profile ones include The Coven, The Wing, and The Hivery.

The Coven’s Noteworthy Features: A nursing room, great sound system and fresh supply of food and beverage for purchase. Image courtesy of The Coven Minneapolis.

The Coven Minneapolis

Noteworthy Features: A nursing room, great sound system and fresh supply of food and beverage for purchase

The Coven is a popular Minneapolis coworking space designed for both women and non-binary individuals living in the North Loop. 

Four women Erinn Farrell, Bethany Iverson, Liz Giel and Alex West Steinman formed the establishment with one goal in mind: to set aside space and time for women to network. 

With a background in advertising, the founders initially intended for this space to serve female professionals in the advertising sector. However, they later expanded the company to include women in other creative industries. 

The first thing that stands out about The Coven is how it’s thoughtfully designed. It offers a variety of services that working women want and need to excel at what they do. There are cozy, luxe furnishings for a conducive work environment, private phone booths and access to food and beverages. 

You will also find a shower, dressing room, lockers, and a beauty room that is stocked with hair and makeup products. 

Furthermore, The Coven puts the needs of nursing mothers in mind. They have designated a room where working moms can relax while they pump or nurse their toddlers. This room has a natural source of light, soothing music, comfortable chairs, a fridge and sink. 

Other amenities include a well-equipped conference room, printing and free Wi-Fi. 

The Wing’s Noteworthy Features: A glam room stocked with hair and makeup products, a quiet room and phone booths Image courtesy of the Wing Dumbo NYC.

The Wing Dumbo NYC

The Wing is the brainchild of founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan. The idea of this coworking space first came to Gelman when she was leading a nomadic lifestyle in 2015. 

At the time, she was working at the public affairs company SKDKnickerbocker and was forced to travel between New York City and D.C. She found it very difficult since she did not have any place where she could answer emails from or even change outfits between meetings. 

In October 2016, Gelman teamed up with Lauren to create The Wing, a coworking space dedicated to working women. Their purpose for establishing it was to acknowledge “the golden age of women in power”. 

This coworking space boasts an open seating plan. It also offers a very flexible work environment thanks to the hot-desking model. Put simply; members get to share desks on different shifts as opposed to each member having their own personal desk. 

Other amenities worth mentioning include spacious bathrooms, showers, lockers, a beauty room, recording studio, and a mini workout and meditation area. 

New Women Space’s Noteworthy Features: Meditation and yoga classes, community workshops and events. Image courtesy of New Women Space New York.

New Women Space New York

Located in East Williamsburg, New Women Space is open to all women, femme, trans, and gender nonconforming identifying individuals. 

This coworking space was founded on the principle that women supporting other women makes the world a much better place. 

So what inspired the creation of New Women Space?

Sandra Hong and Melissa Wong founded New Women Space to meet the increasing demand for a tech-oriented female-only coworking space. Both founders had previously worked in community organizing, media and hospitality sectors. They were particularly interested in bringing women together as a community. 

Thus, with the shared conviction to create a new type of work setting, they set out to establish a minimal, and affordable workspace for female professionals. 

New Women Space sits on 2100 square-foot area, and boasts amenities such as abundant natural light, curtains for added privacy, a custom refreshment station, small outdoor space, and A/V equipment. 

evolveHer Chicago’s Noteworthy Features: Flexible and affordable coworking memberships and business exposure. Image courtesy of evolveHer Chicago. 

evolveHer Chicago

If you live in Chicago and are looking for a great female-only coworking space, evolveHer is worth checking out. Founded by Alicia Driskill, it is recognized as Chicago’s first creative coworking space for women. 

It’s located on a 5,000 square foot loft in River North and was designed specifically to foster creativity and collaboration amongst entrepreneurial women. The fact that evolveHer provides such a strong community of women is one of the things that set it apart from typical coworking spaces. 

Essentially, they provide all the resources that female professionals need to start, incubate and materialize their business ideas. They do this while also connecting them to a diverse community of like-minded women. 

This company provides marketing and consulting to entrepreneurs and corporations. Plus, they support women’s initiatives and purpose-driven campaigns. 

EvolveHer is open from Monday to Friday, and gives you access to a shared workspace, private phone booths, conference rooms and event spaces. 

The operations team also hosts weekly events that are custom-created to address the needs of its coworkers. This way, women can learn a new skill or two at the many workshops on offer. Moreover, this coworking establishment works with Sprouts Academy to provide childcare services for working mothers.

Make Lemonade’s Noteworthy Features: Private phone booths, bright, natural lighting. Image courtesy of Make Lemonade Toronto.

Make Lemonade Toronto

Located at the heart of Downtown Toronto, Make Lemonade is an aesthetically designed coworking space for women. 

Created by Rachel Kelly and designed by local studio MMNT, this flexible workplace came to fruition in 2016. At the time, Rachel had been freelancing for years and she’d become tired of working from cafes. So, when a new job she had accepted got cancelled the last minute, she decided to pursue her passion of launching her own co-working space- Make Lemonade. The space is all about offering female professionals the opportunity to learn, network and collaborate. 

When you enter, the first thing you encounter is the laid-back setting. The whole space is carpeted in AstroTurf. There are also potted plants that make the space look more like an outdoor patio than an indoor workspace.

Make Lemonade is well-lit thanks to the large windows that take up three of the four walls. Also incorporated in this coworking space are private phone booths, a spacious boardroom and a kitchen. 

The Hivery’s Noteworthy Features: Abundant parking, inspiring networking events and workshops, a supportive community. Image courtesy of The Hivery Mill Valley.

The Hivery Mill Valley California

The Hivery has been in the game for quite a while now, having been founded in 2014. Like many other female-only coworking spaces, this one also aims to support women in business. 

It’s located in Mill Valley, CA, and was established by Grace Kraaijvanger. At the time an independent marketing consultant, Grace had spent most of her years juggling her passion of performing and choreographing ballet. 

After getting two kids, she was forced to retire as a professional dancer and focus on her marketing career. There was just one problem, she’d had become so fond of the creative arts community that she felt very lonely working from home. 

So, she decided to join a coworking space. Unfortunately, the only options she had were male-dominated- a huge difference from what she had hoped for. Having identified a market gap in the coworking space sector, she decided to turn this into a business opportunity by creating The Hivery.

What started with only 25 members has grown to become a shared workspace made up of more than 500 women. The space is beautifully-lit and spacious enough.

Apart from fast Wi-Fi, the shared workspace also provides access to a large multifunctional room, 4 distinct conference rooms, printers as well as daytime and overnight storage. 

Hera Hub’s Noteworthy Features: Provides all forms of business support to entrepreneurial women. Image courtesy of Hera Hub Carlsbad. 

Hera Hub Carlsbad California

Founded in 2011, Hera Hub was the first international female-only coworking space. It’s headquartered in Carlsbad and welcomes female entrepreneurs and freelancers. 

Hera Hub supports women entrepreneurs in two ways. One, it provides shared office spaces for both startups and independent remote workers. These coworking spaces are well-equipped with high-speed WiFi, air conditioning, chill-out area, free coffee and drinking water.

Secondly, it serves as a business accelerator for women through education and mentorship programs. The company even has an angel investment division for their business women. 

Looking ahead, I predict the expansion of women only coworking spaces will continue to grow as niche specific coworking spaces.

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