Watch the complete video of the coworking and women panel from the Coworking India conference
Quick takeaways from the session:
How does coworking hack the ecosystem for entrepreneurs and women in a city?
- coworking spaces allow women to be seamless and bring themselves, their kids, and their entire personnas to work
- they also allow work from home moms to have a separation and become more focused when they need.
- coworkign spaces can involve women in diverse events, also invite fathers and other people to events with their kids to make it more accesible
- democratic work environments where everyone can contribute in their best way make sense as a hack
- some run campaigns to get women to come out and be less isolated
- going the intentional mile to invite women to the space and make them friendly and non-intimidating
- intentional curation of events for women specifically
- making safety at spaces a priority, no matter who - men, women, etc. People should know who to go to if something does happen in a coworking community. (having women founders/owners/staff at spaces helps)
What is the future of work for women vis a vis coworking spaces?
- make coworking spaces a place where all types of work is respected - plumbers, artists, etc. Make all work equal by allowing exposure to different types of work (anti classist)
- explore different types of work to know own passions and skills and to have more empathy for all people
- coworking allows us to be holistic and bring out whole selves to work - our dreams, our passions, emotions and skills -women do not compartmentalize our selves as we tend to be nest defenders, future thinking, and broadminded.
- women make spaces their own is a great hack in terms of creating the space, decorating, art, and making the space more friendly
- flexible plans to cater to women and their schedules
- allowing people that "don't know what to do" to explore their talents via experts in the community and female business leaders - confusion is a opportunity to push yourself to explore, don't penalize not knowing
- in a coworking space people are observing your skills and can highlight them to you - things that you don't even know. You get positive reinforcement and accountability to develop those skills.
Hacks to make coworking spaces havens for women and the future of work:
- change the paradigm and put more diverse people in your space, including women and all types of entrepreneurs
- go the extra mile to welcome new people into the space so that people feel welcome and know other people
- speed dating
- play games
- introduce people to each other
- space ambassadors to help people know others
- go to the spaces where women already are in the community and introduce yourself. It's not enough to open your doors and say "come in" to women. Go to them and create safe space - to get more people.
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Avani Parekh is the founder of LoveDoctor.in, a counseling portal for relationships, love and sexual health. She loves karaoke, sand between her toes and experimental cooking.