Women-Only Co-Working Spaces Face Challenges as Demand Declines

Women-only co-working spaces face challenges as demand for gender-segregated workspaces declines, with some high-profile closures, raising questions about their future role in supporting women professionals.

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Nitish Verma
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Women-Only Co-Working Spaces Face Challenges as Demand Declines

Women-Only Co-Working Spaces Face Challenges as Demand Declines

Women-only co-working spaces are facing challenges as demand for gender-segregated workspaces declines, according to a recent article. The self-proclaimed 'female utopia' abruptly closed all of its spaces in the summer of 2022, including a branch in London. While there are still a handful of women-only co-working spaces in the UK, such as Egg in Edinburgh and Maven in Winchester, the overall demand for these types of spaces appears to be declining as the hybrid working landscape evolves.

Women-only co-working spaces like Chief in London and The Co Working Space in Nottingham have recently closed down, as the demand for gender-segregated workspaces has declined. The concept gained popularity during the height of the MeToo movement, but some see it as a step backwards. While the idea of men-only clubs is well-established, women-only co-working spaces have emerged over the past decade, often with a focus on empowerment and community.

However, some high-profile spaces like The Wing in the US have faced challenges, including allegations of mistreatment, racism, and legal issues over their women-only membership policies. Despite the demise of The Wing, there are still around 50 women-only co-working spaces in Europe, including several in the UK. These spaces aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for women entrepreneurs and professionals, who often face headwinds in the male-dominated business world.

Why this matters: The decline in demand for women-only co-working spaces raises questions about the future of gender-segregated workspaces and the evolving needs of women in the professional world. As the hybrid working landscape continues to change, it remains to be seen how these spaces will adapt and whether they will continue to play a role in supporting women entrepreneurs and professionals.

While some women find these spaces refreshing and joyful, the future of women-only co-working spaces remains uncertain as the demand for gender-segregated workspaces declines. "The national VTS Office Demand Index (VODI) has recorded its ninth straight month of positive year-over-year growth, with office space demand up 18.2% in Q1 and 12.1% from February to March," according to the article. However, there are holdouts, particularly in cities like Seattle and San Francisco, where the job growth curve is strong but the number of days worked from an office is not increasing at the same pace.

Key Takeaways

  • Women-only co-working spaces face declining demand as hybrid work evolves.
  • Several prominent women-only spaces have closed, including Chief in London.
  • Challenges include allegations of mistreatment and legal issues over membership policies.
  • Around 50 women-only co-working spaces remain in Europe, providing support for women.
  • Future of gender-segregated workspaces uncertain as office space demand grows.