As the coworking concept continues to gain ground in the modern business world, more and more shared office spaces are popping up in all corners of the globe. The promise of flexibility, a productive work environment and the gathering of like-minded individuals with similar entrepreneurial goals is what makes this trend so popular and so successful.
But while coworking offices entice us with a pledge to revive traditional workplace culture in a more inclusive way, this area is still very much dominated and created by men. A few savvy entrepreneurs have recognized the negative side of this tendency, along with the need for specialized coworking hubs aimed at women, prioritizing their professional demands and personal requirements. This resulted in the birth of the first female-focused coworking hubs, aimed exclusively at female entrepreneurs and business owners.
The need for specialized coworking offices for women
Although coworking hubs are open to anyone and everyone interested in utilizing their services, regardless of gender, ethnicity or type of business, there’s still a prevalent ‘bro’ culture which can often be seen and experienced in these types of shared office spaces. Some women felt that these places slightly limit their professional growth and opportunities to network with similar businesses, due to the lack of female-oriented seminars or events.
Another reason why the need for female-focused coworking offices has been formulated is a personal one. As many businesswomen start their own families, they constantly struggle with balancing their home life and professional activities at one and the same time. These new niche coworking hubs have identified this conflict and aim to remedy it by providing on-site daycare for children as moms tackle their daily entrepreneurial tasks at the coworking office.
The pioneers of female-focused coworking hubs
Felena Hanson had been running her marketing business from the confines of her home whilst looking for an alternative base from where she could manage her entrepreneurial tasks. She stumbled upon coworking offices, but she quickly found that they were targeting a different type of audience. After much research she decided to open her own version of a shared office space, by providing a spa-like, collaborative environment to female entrepreneurs such as herself. Thus, Hera Hub was founded in August of 2011 in San Diego, as the first female-focused coworking hub in the world.
Hera Hub enjoyed immense success upon its inauguration, so in the next few years Felena launched two additional offices in the U.S. Other businesses got wind of the fact that there’s a market gap to be filled, so from 2014 onward a handful of amazing female-focused coworking hubs were opened all across the nation. The sudden booming of women-oriented shared office spaces was not only restricted to the United States. Casa Feminaria was opened in Brazil in 2016, based on the same principles, and also offering an incubator program to its members.
Advantages of women-oriented offices
Female-focused coworking hubs provide a wide range of benefits to members. One of their most important goals is to offer a productive and collaborative setting while empowering women in their respective entrepreneurial ventures. They attract a crowd of like-minded female professionals, who look for a safe, welcoming and well-equipped environment where they can work freely, without any interruptions. The cooperative atmosphere is ensured by regularly organized seminars, activities and networking events, where future female business partnerships are born.
On-site daycare facilities and other kid-friendly amenities offer working moms a short break from their home life, an additional asset of these niched shared offices. Recognizing the fact that women entrepreneurs have to deal with much more on their plate besides completing a work project—and actually doing something to help ensure a better work-life balance—is quite an exceptional and advantageous feature of female-focused coworking hubs.