The remote working industry has traded in coffee shops in favor of leasing out of one of the many coworking spaces the industry has to offer. Today’s coworking empires, such as WeWork and Industrious, run by men and it shows in their office design. Women’s needs are typically not met, but workspaces such as The Wing hope to change that dynamic.
The Wing is a women-only coworking space that has five locations and is quickly gaining traction. In March of 2018, it made headlines when New York City Commission on Human Rights started an investigation into whether the operator was participating in gender-based discrimination.
Founder Audrey Gelman still stands by The Wing’s promise to provide a safe space for female members, but some still question whether admission criteria should include a check on gender identity.
The Riveter describes itself as “a membership network built by women, for everyone,” as it is female-founded with a female-focused design, and also accepts all genders.
Founder Amy Nelson sought out to create a safe work environment for women, but she believes that the movement needs allies and sees them as valuable players in the conversation.
“At The Riveter, we want to drive the conversation on how gender equality is not a ‘nice-to-have’ item on a checklist – it is a must-have,” Nelson said. “Men and gender-fluid individuals must be a part of that conversation as the future of work depends on their support and input.”
Hera Hub is another female-driven, co-ed flexible office that was founded in 2011. Founder Felena Hanson strongly believes that just because you are pro-women, does not mean you are anti-male. Hanson says that the space aims to create a safe environment for women, while also allowing men to be apart of the conversation to learn from one another.
A few questions about female-centric workplaces remain. Are those who identify as non-binary left out of the conversation? What would the conversation be if the genders were swapped? It is untelling at the moment, but time will tell whether certain “no mans land” options will come out on top.