Clubhouses? The Modern Coworking Space

Are coworking spaces just clubhouses or fraternities?
In a post back in June, we took on a Chicago Tribune article about gender bias becoming an issue within the coworking workforce. Today, as a follow on, we would like to highlight a new gender possibility now entering the industry – gender segregated coworking spaces.  These new coworking clubhouses are an up-and-coming trend. Yesterday, it was announced that a new, female-only coworking space called The Hive would be opening next month in Philadelphia. See the article announcing that new space here. This also ties back to a post we made talking about coworking spaces segregated by industry. These vertical-oriented spaces are starting to emerge in many cities across the country, but this gender-segregation trend might be a new one coming on. THE PROFESSIONAL FRATERNITY To us, this seems like a grown-up version of the neighborhood clubhouse of yesteryear (See the finest example featured in classic film, The Little Rascals), or perhaps even the Greek housing of our college days. At first glance, it seems like a bad idea. All genders offer different perspective. Different ideas. And different biases that can influence success.  After all, the integration of gender is what has made our economy much more creatively diverse, more socially-conscious since women joined the workplace in great force in the 1960’s. So how could gender-segregating the coworking movement be a good thing? OPTIONS The truth is, though, when you dig a little deeper, that adding a new “type” of coworking space into the market is not a bad thing. Like all other aspects of free enterprise, space is a choice. We choose to work in high rises, warehouses, suburban office buildings, or in coworking complexes. In that same vein, we as coworkers, should have a diverse set of spaces from which to choose – whether targeting creative professionals, cannabis professionals, females, or environmentally friendly companies, choice is important within any segment of business. What we’re seeing now, through this example and many others, is a general sophistication and advancement of the coworking enterprise. As trends catch on, gain recognition for their viability, and become assumed, one of the next steps is often diversification. Brands begin to make themseles more unique so as to win over the consumer, and this female-only space in Philadelphia is simply responding to a full and vibrant coworking network now present in Philadelphia. Not everyone has to agree with the effectiveness of choosing to work in a single-gender environment. Not even everyone in Philadelphia. Chances are, this founder only needs about 30-50 professionals to find this option appealing (depending on how many people her space can hold). So with that, we are excited to see this market sophistication continue to emerge, and are anxious to see how successfully this idea takes hold. Beyond gender and market vertical, though, any further segregation could begin to become an EEO problem for those businesses choosing those spaces, or at a minimum, a bit too “niche” to remain a long term success. Time will tell though! PS: If you bump into a unique, niche coworking space that you think we might find interesting, let us know! Please email us at info@coworkunite.com.  

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