Dominique Wynne, an art director at a New York ad agency, remembered The Wing being a perfectly fine coworking space, hosting community events that tried to foster sisterhood. However, after attending a members-only complimentary hair blow-out event that had no stylists that could work with her hair, her feelings of isolation were solidified.
That is when she joined Ethel’s Club, a coworking space designed to make people of color feel more welcomed and prioritized.
Ethel’s Club is one of several niche coworking spaces that have emerged to cater to specific needs of people of color. The space features various coworking amenities such as podcast rooms, quiet areas and yoga/meditation workshops all led by instructors of color in order to truly build a community and bring inclusivity to the forefront, according to founder Naj Austin.
Austin emphasizes that Ethel’s Club is not exclusive. In the membership application, it asks what community means to the applicant and the role they have played, personally or professionally, in furthering people of color. According to Austin, these clearly-stated goals are reflected in its members.
Los Angeles-based Blackbird is another coworking space that is geared towards women of color. Currently, 90% of the 75 members are women of color, but CEO Bridgid Coulter hopes to include more allies in the space in order to make long-lasting change.
Blackbird also features various coworking amenities like private offices, but it also hosts events focused on women of color. In January, former democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris spoke at the space.