Welcome back to another exciting episode of the Coworking Values Podcast. For this episode we are having Iris Kavanagh and Laura Shook Guzman.
Iris is a coworking consultant and Founder of Coworking With Iris – a web series that connects viewers with the coworking community. And Laura is the Founder and CEO of Soma Vida Wellness Coworking to address the needs of entrepreneurs in fitness and education, non-profits, and small businesses.
They are the founders of Women Who Cowork. And we are going to be deep-diving at what Women Who Cowork is all about and how does it help the Coworking Industry in terms of Equality and Equity for women and non-binary folks who are part of our community.
What is Women Who Cowork all about?
Iris: Women who co work is a membership, community and platform. And we focus on providing support, resources, tools, education, mentorship, and most importantly, pure community, to the female and non-binary founders, operators and thought leaders in the Coworking movement.
Laura: We are based in the United States, but we really see this as a global platform. And we want to reach women and non-binary folks around the world to really amplify the work that they’re doing in the Coworking movement.
We believe that there’s so much more that we can do by coming together as women and non-binary peoples, and we are often underrepresented in the Coworking movement. So we’ve been working to get that visibility, to participate in conferences to share the stories of our members, their successes and their growth.
Why do we need Women Who Cowork?
Laura:I think that the reason why we felt the call, if you will, to, yeah, to really share our voice and create a platform, is because there are so many women and non-binary people in the Coworking industry, that we’re doing great work behind the scenes, and maybe not connecting enough to each other.
So we really wanted to bring everyone together in a shared space to say, let’s share best practices, let’s share resources. Let’s remind each other that we’re not alone. And I think that anytime you’re working with a group that has experienced any type of marginalisation, or they’re working outside the dominant narrative of business, then we really need to shine the light on them. We really need to talk about, well, how is it different for you?
Iris:I think it’s also important to remember that, you know, looking at the body of Coworking people across the world. The majority of people running Coworking spaces tend to be female or non-body Binary people and the majority of people in ownership tend to be male, and that there’s nothing wrong with ownership.
You know there’s nothing wrong with men or people who are male owning coworking spaces. But we really want to increase ownership for the people who are also running the spaces that female and non-binary people.
We really believe that Coworking has the power to bring about equity in, in the world of business in a way that currently, you know, the Silicon Valley, the boards of the world, the big corporations of the world, we’re looking at here in the US 150 more years before we reach that level of gender parity. So that’s, that’s a really big, important piece for us.