How Coworking is Helping Fight Workplace Sexism in Brazil

Casa Feminaria: A Brazilian Businesswoman’s Safe Haven

Opened on September 2nd of this year, Casa Feminaria is the physical manifestation of support for women in business in Brazil.

“Feminaria has been designed to look and feel  like a ‘grandmother’s house’,” Moreira says. Being no stranger to the corporate environment in Brazil and having been a victim of sexism in the past, Moreira wanted to create a space that would help foster a safe and familiar environment for members.

According to Moreira, “by providing a women’s only space, women feel safer as they are among equals, among people with the same interests and who, unfortunately, have faced the same problems.”

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“We can only fight sexism together.”

Moreira’s belief is that if she can help women feel embraced and ready,” they will face the challenges of the business world in a more assertive way, helping them thrive even in a male-dominated culture.”

This is why Casa Feminaria is more than a typical coworking space.

“We provide free professional consultancy sessions and psychotherapeutic support–we strongly believe that psychological well-being and self-knowledge are key points in any kind of professional development.”

Being a legal consultant herself, Moreira offers free consulting services to the members of Feminaria, and she has also partnered with other successful businesswomen as to create a team of advisors and consultants similar to those found in business incubators.

“We also provide multidisciplinary services that are similar to those of a business incubator, given that we mentor professional businesswomen in the development of their business, all the way through their consolidation. Our goal for next year is to fully operate as an incubator, help women spread their wings with their business to reach more markets.”

But beyond helping individual entrepreneurs take-off with their projects, Moreira wants to contribute to the feminist movement of her country. Which is why she’s hoping to focus the most on fostering a culture where women are empowered.

“I want Feminaria to be the place where women and girls can look up to fellow women as role models. We want to show girls and women that they don’t need to go to companies and work a 9 to 5 day from a cubicle. We want to show them there are other options.”

“Feminaria will come to be the way for women to break away from behavioral paradigms in which they have, so far, been pigeonholed to.”

As for the funding to incubate businesses, this is what Moreira can say: “For the time being, from my bank account basically.”

“I believe in this.”

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“The money I’m earning from my consulting business is going towards Feminaria. I’m sure that the project is going to grow and more people are going to get involved and help with the funding.

“But in the meantime, if I have to do it alone, I will.”

Moreira is a perfect example of what the coworking movement truly is about–collaboration, helping one another, and working towards a better future.

A month and a half after opening, Casa Feminaria coworking has 30 members, 70% of which are women between the ages of 25 and 35.

Coworking in Brazil is breaking down walls, and we don’t mean the office cubicle ones.

If you want to learn more about Feminaria or if you wish to get in touch with Ana Moreira to help her cause, you can reach out to her through: [email protected].

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