The Coworking Values are Feminine Values

It’s hard to capture why women join Shecosystem: they talk about being with their tribe, about good energy. This intangible vibe that we nurture here  really comes down to a set of values that our members share. These values inform how we make decisions on a daily basis, and they are the foundation of our culture.

Shecosystem’s core values are aligned with the values of the Coworking movement. The movement has five core values:


The added bonus for a women-focussed coworking space is that the coworking values ARE feminine values.

Over the last few years, the business world has been paying lots of lip service to the idea of embracing feminine leadership styles and workplace values (see these articles from Forbes and Harvard Business Review). But the coworking movement is founded on these values…so let’s OWN them.

In Gloria Steinem’s book My Life on the Road, she talks about a time in the 1970s when she  spoke with Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, a female leader in India who had worked with Gandhi. Steinem was trying to convince Kamaladevi to apply Gandhian tactics to women’s movements. After listening patiently, Kamaladevi kindly informed her, “We taught him everything he knew.” She explains that Steinem had “the Great Man theory of history, and hadn’t known that the tactics we were drawn to were our own.”

In the same spirit, it is important to unveil the feminine energy that pulses through the world of coworking. Like so many other aspects of the feminine paradigm that feminists have been working so hard to honour and make space for in our world, we can now celebrate the success of these values.

And coworking is a worldwide movement worth celebrating. In the last ten years, thousands of coworking spaces have opened worldwide. According to recent statistics from the 2015 Global Coworking Survey, the industry has a growth rate of 36% over the last 12 months, and an estimated 510,000 coworking members around the world who are choosing to work this way.

So why not call attention to the fact that this is the way we’ve been doing it all along? When something is natural and timeless, it finds a way.

The paradigm of competition, fragmentation and hierarchical leadership no longer serve us. A more interdependent and collaborative society is the only way toward a more sustainable future.

Give us a movement that validates this way of being, give us a structure that facilitates it – and we’ll thrive. Women deserve to take ownership of a workplace culture that empowers and inspires them to be their best.

Shecosystem’s Core Values

Openness guides our design and the interactions between members and the ecosystem around us. We embrace the unknown and remain receptive to feedback. We keep an open mind and heart, and consider ideas from outside the dominant paradigm. An attitude of openness cultivates compassion and trust.

Collaboration values integration and wholeness over competition and hierarchy: this is how natural systems become abundant and resilient. When we work together to “get to yes” we come up with creative ways to meet everyone’s needs.

Accessibility strives for equitable access to power for all, and success in business is accessible when women can work on their terms. Each of us possesses a wealth of inner resources that we can access when we learn to tune in and value this feminine capital.

Community shapes our coworking space: we aim to be a circle, not a pyramid. Rather than imposing a structure upon a group of people, the community gives rise to a structure that fits its shape. Technology connects,  but community provides a sense of belonging and unites us through shared values. When women thrive, they reinvest in their communities.

Sustainability includes but goes beyond the ecological dimension. We prevent depletion by nurturing our personal and professional resources and honouring cycles. Maintaining a mindset of abundance means that we can all sustain our businesses: there is enough for all.

Wellness cannot be compromised along the entrepreneurial journey. We support seven dimensions of self care: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, financial and environmental .

Feminism strives to do away with barriers to the full and diverse expression of feminine power. We unite and galvanize to discard old stereotypes, challenge structural inequities that limit our potential, and raise the status of the feminine in the working world

Our Shecosister Christine Pensa helps heal with art

Name: Christine Pensa

Business: Art That Moves

Title: Owner


What is at the heart of your business?

I’m a visual artist who joyfully runs Om for your home, a line of textiles and illustrations—and—I’m a passionate way-shower helping people connect with their artist within by offering art+soul classes.


Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I have loved being part of the Shecosystem meetups and want to continue to meet engaging and delightful women.


What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I would be happy to share my inspirations and sources, and, my art+soul wellness ideas. I have already met, supported, and collaborated with other women in their work and business and hope to continue to be able to do so.


What does thriving look like for you?

Continuing to find joy in what I do, continuing to grow myself, and reaching out to connect more and more people with their own artist within as a tool for healing.


Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

It’s difficult to pick one, but I think perhaps collaboration is the one I like best. As an artist who often works alone, I know the power of creative fireworks. This is the kind of alchemy that can only happen when people come together to collaborate with open hearts.


Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

Part of it is that I often work alone. I know working quietly creating is a huge healer for me. I feel blessed to be able to create days for myself. Days I can rise without an alarm clock, take the measure of my day, and create something new.


What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Sharpen your skills of discernment, and don’t assume anything. Being open to new ways of doing things allows fresh air to keep flowing through your business.


Anything else we should know about you?

I am a visual artisoul-colouringst who joyfully runs Om for your home, my line of printed textiles and original illustrations from my Toronto, Ontario studio.


Because I am open to new ways of doing things, I became the co-creator and illustrator of, The Soul Discovery Colouring Book, published by Conari Press in 2016.


I am a passionate “way-shower” sharing art+soul classes with adults and kids. I believe everyone should reclaim their mark making delight, and I love creating space for joy-filled, judgement-free art explorations.


Check out Christine’s Website

Want to become a Shecosister? Join us!


Our Shecosister Clare Kenty is doing some EPIC healing

Name: Clare Kenty

Business: Clare Kenty – Integrative Health

Title: Integrative Health Coach + Reiki Practitioner


What is at the heart of your business?

Creating EPIC healing. Letting go of what doesn’t serve us and bringing in the magnificence we’re destined to have and be.


Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

We are game changers, the movers and shakers, we are all powerful She-Ras! I joined because it’s time we all connected and made epic things happen!


What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I wish to offer my unique services and support, and I hope to receive support and connection from other fabulous and empowered entrepreneurs.


What does thriving look like for you?

Having the resources and freedom to build the life I dream of. One of support, community, love, filled with organic and local produce, clean air and water, joy, family and luxury.


Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Wellness. I am a wellness coach so wellness in myself and others is of the utmost importance to me.


Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

Self-care is one of the first things we are taught in Reiki. Self care is big for me. I’ve lived without self-care before and it left me sick and exhausted so taking care of myself is very important. I do so by listening to myself and doing whatever it is I need. I give myself Reiki treatments, I eat well and exercise. Those are a few of the ones I use most.


What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Listen to yourself. Be kind to yourself. It won’t all get done in a day, or even a year. Take care of yourself, do the work, every day and you’ll get there.


Anything else we should know about you?

I love to laugh and I have a slight obsession with shoes.


Womb Wellness 101

Clare Kenty has created a series called Womb Wellness 101. It’s a series of workshops built to educate and empower women. The next event she is having is on November 20th and focuses on ways to decrease and eradicate PMS.

Check out her events on her website or on Facebook !

Want to become a Shecosister? Join us!

Self-Care Circles

Every Wednesday at 12-1PM

This hour long Self-Care Circle with Liz Diaz will focus on turning up the self-care dial for your mind, body, and spirit. With a dash of magic and lots of love we will tune-in and hit the internal reset button though practical wellness rituals.


This mid-day, mid-week circle will leave you feeling grounded, aligned and focused on your purpose and ready to succeed in your biz. Activities will vary by the week, but trust us – you’ll thank yourself for coming.


$10 members (or one “Class” resource)

$15 non-members

About Liz Diaz

lizmural2016-copy-squareLiz Diaz is Shecosystem’s Resident Wellness + Spiritual Guide and founder of founder of Awaken Your Bliss. Her passion is to create sacred opportunities for you to reconnect and remember your truest nature. To reclaim your innate wisdom. Liz’s calling is to facilitate spaces for women to feel emotionally and intuitively empowered, spaces where your instincts are valued and developed. She provides opportunities for you to reclaim your inner wise woman and ignite your creative spark. Liz is a holistic healing arts practitioner whose tools of choice are: meditation, yoga, conscious dance, expressive arts, Earth based wisdom, rituals and gifts of reiki, crystals, massage and essential oils. As a Spiritual life coach Liz is committed to journeying with you as you restore, rediscover and Awaken to Your Bliss.

Register for Self-Care Circles here!

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Meet our Shecosister Liz Diaz – Shecosystem’s Resident Wellness + Spiritual Guide

Name: Liz Diaz

Title: Holistic healing arts practitioner and ritual guide

Company: Awaken Your Bliss


What is the heart of your business?

At the heart of my business I help women harness and anchor their purpose into their daily lives. I facilitate women’s circles where women come together to reconnect to their inner wisdom, and power. I also work with women one on one to co-create practical daily rituals that help them feel nourished and empowered from the inside out.   

Why did you join a women’s co-working and wellness community?

As women I think we have a unique lens on how we see and function in the world. I think this is also true in how we relate to our business. I love being surrounded by other women who get what it means to be a woman and a solopreneur.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life

Self-care is not a dirty word! Self-care is saying YES to what you want. I say Yes to myself in the smallest of ways; from wearing a pair of my favourite earrings that instantly make me feel beautiful, to giving myself extra time between meetings to walk to my appointment and take in some fresh air, plus making sure to regularly scheduling in Venus days (what I call self-love days). These little YES rituals add up, leaving me feeling balanced and supported as I continue to bring my business into the world.

Anything else we should know about you?

I love to dance, and don’t be surprised if I throw an impromptu dance party at the office. Dancing is super empowering and a great way to express ourselves and shake out negative energy.

Check out Liz Diaz’s Website.

Want to become a Shecosister? Join us!

Liz Diaz will be sharing her many gifts with our community over the next few months  as Shecosystem’s Resident Wellness + Spiritual Guide.  

Liz is the person to talk to if you’re looking to nourish yourself, mark a lifecycle event, or connect with the divine feminine. Liz will help awaken your bliss using a toolkit that includes Meditation, Yoga, Earth Based Wisdom & Rituals, Expressive Arts, Dance And Energy Healing With Reiki, Crystals, And Essential Oils.

Liz will be facilitating a mid-day wellness circle every Wednesday to help you get over the hump and say “YES” to your self-care. She will also be leading our member-only opening and closing circles on Wednesdays, and will be our Wellness Facilitator at January’s meetups. We are so proud to have her beautiful energy in the space!

Join Liz at our mid-week Self-Care Circles


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Meetups Are Back


We meet every Tuesday morning to cowork, support each other through mentorship, and take time to promote our holistic health & wellbeing.

We know that women – and their businesses – thrive when they are consciously connected with their bodies, minds, emotions, and with an authentic and supportive community. So many of us struggle with isolation, depression and lack of motivation when we work alone. It helps to get our of our heads and connect with other entrepreneurs for support and inspiration!  Coworking promotes collaboration and creative engagement among independent workers.

Shecosystem’s signature weekly Coworking, Wellness + Mentorship Meetups have been taking place in locations around Toronto since October 2015, and we are thrilled to finally hold space for this community to connect in our beautiful new coworking space at Bloor and Christie.

When: Every Tuesday, 10AM-12PM

Where: 703 Bloor Street W, 2nd Floor

What to bring: Laptop & work materials




After a quick check-in to set our intentions for the day, we get down to business for around 90 minutes. Each of us focusses on her own projects, occasionally turning to the group with a question, an insight or a helpful resource to share.


We always have a business mentor onsite to answer your questions, give feedback on your ideas, and connect you with the resources you need. This month our featured mentor is Fatima Kamenge, executive Director of Mazava, an NGO that provides Capacity building and support for budding entrepreneurs in East Africa. Fatima also consults for enterprises in team building and management as well as compassionate leadership. A serial entrepreneur, Fatima is passionate about economic sustainability and pursues that passion through her volunteering and investments.

If you are interested in volunteering as a monthly mentor, drop us a line with the subject line “Meetup Mentorship” at


After 90 minutes of work, we take a purposeful 20-minute wellness break. We look at wellness through a broad lens – activities may include dance, meditation, creative writing, yoga. This month our featured mentor is Adrienne Enns. A Life Coach certified by Martha Beck, Adrienne is founder and Chief Joy Curator at May You Know Joy. She empowers people to navigate towards joy through coaching, workshops, retreats and May You Know Joy meditation cards and Seeds of Intention cards.

If you are interested in volunteering as a monthly wellness facilitator, drop us a line with the subject line “Meetup Wellness” at



The month of INTENTION

November 1 – Adrienne Enns Edgar will share some insights about intention setting.

November 8 – Sheri Johnson will come in and share how to create intentional well-being through the use of essential oils

November 15 – Caroline Meyer, a Naturopath, and Reiki Master will come share seasonal tips for maximizing our health heading into Winter.

November 22 – TBD

November 29 – Daphne Gordon will help us explore intention through yoga and writing

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Registration Options

Meetup Only:

Your registration includes coffee & tea and fast wifi and 2 hours of work & wellness.

Registration Fee:

$8 for Shecosystem Members (or one “Meetup” resource booked through Cobot)

$15 Non-members

$12 Women in Biz Network Members


Make a Day of it! Add a Day Pass and stay all day:

Your registration includes Meetup programming plus access to our flexible workspaces between 8AM-6PM on the day of the Meetup. Includes any additional free member programming that is happening in the space that day. Includes coffee + tea and fast wifi throughout the day. Join us for our regular Tuesday Potluck + Perspectives – share a dish or salad-bar ingredient and share your ideas, topics change by the week.

Registration Fee:

$25 Shecosystem Members – Register below or through Cobot by booking a “Meetup + Day Pass” Resource!

$40 Non-members.

$34 Women in Biz Network Members


Shecosister Adrienne Enns on the Benefits of Being Authentic

Name: Adrienne Enns Edgar

Chief Joy Curator, May You Know Joy Inc.


What is at the heart of your business?

Empowering people to navigate towards joy through coaching, workshops, retreats and May You Know Joy meditation cards and Seeds of Intention cards.


Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

My life and my work are much richer for surrounding myself with inspiring women. We seek out and nurture the best in ourselves and the best in each other. That’s a rare and precious environment and one that I’m proud to be part of.


What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I WISH TO LEND MY ENERGY AND THE WISDOM OF MY JOURNEY TO THIS COMMUNITY. When I show up authentically, I always get unexpected gifts. All I can do is stay open.


What does thriving look like for you?

Thriving is living a life full of love and joy and purpose and community. It is living intentionally to create a beautiful life.


Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

That’s a tough choice. But, if I have to pick one it would be ‘OPENNESS’. I think our human tendency is to close, to stay safe, to stay small and to protect ourselves. When we show up in an authentic way and are open to all possibilities, that’s where the magic happens and all of the values Shecosystem stands for are available to us.


Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

I make time to move my body – whether that’s through yoga or walking my dog. It re-connects me. I feel revitalized. It gets my creative juices flowing and it’s often when I get my best ideas or solve a problem.


What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Connect with your own truth and purpose. When you navigate towards your own joy in a clear, mindful and authentic way, all things are possible.


Anything else we should know about you?

I believe that joy is a choice. We are choosing all the time who we will be and what our life will be like. These choices can be toughest and most paramount during our most difficult times. These are defining moments. These are moments where life is giving us a chance to stand in our truth and define our values. Life is happening for you. Open to it and choose what you are going to do with this “one wild and precious life”.


Check out Adrienne’s Website.

Want to become a Shecosister? Join us!

Adrienne is November’s featured Wellness Facilitator at our weekly Coworking, Wellness + Mentorship meetups. Meetups are open to members and non-members. For details, check out our Events Calendar:

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Meet Shecosystem’s Yoga Instructor Samantha Warren

Name: Samantha Warren

Owner & Yoga Chill Out Chick,  Samantha Warren- Yoga & Mindfulness


What is at the heart of your business?

Slowing down, taking time out and connecting back to yourself, and mindfulness


Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

A community of like-minded women that create, share, collaborate and love together in a wellness capacity is incredible and needed in our culture


What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?

I want to hold space for women to chill out, connect and breathe; and in return a community where we can laugh, cry, love, and share in beautiful warming memories


What does thriving look like for you?

Living by my values, authenticity to myself, connection to self, others and nature, taking risks as scary as they can be and a daily practice of gratitude


Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

As a wellness practitioner I have to say I resonate with wellness the most (haha) since without a personal wellness practice in our lives we wouldn’t be able to thrive in our everyday lives. Burnout, exhaustion and related illnesses are due to us not taking care of ourselves mentally and emotionally, and possibly physically. A wellness practice provides us with the time and space to fill up our internal gas tank so that we can continue to give to others without running on empty.


Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

Self-Care is part of my job description! Dancing and/or laughing breaks, a walk in High Park or down the side streets in my neighbourhood, green juices & rooibos tea, meditation and moments to reflect.


What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?

Give yourself permission to take time out for yourself everyday. Even if it can only be for 5 minutes while you dance your heart out or sing at the top of your lungs to your favourite song.

Check out Sam Warren’s Website.


Want to become a Shecosister? Join us!


For the next 3 months, we are proud to have Sam as our Yoga Teacher in Residence!

She’ll be teaching two classes each week for members and the public – to start your week on Mondays at 9AM and to wind down on Fridays at 4pm. Check our Events Calendar for details!

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women founders fund startup canada

WE WON! Startup Canada’s Women Founders Fund

I’ve been watching Marissa McTasney’s Facebook feed over the last few days. The founder of Moxie Trades and pink work-booted sh*t kicker is a little bit pissed off about how things are going for female entrepreneurs looking for capital:



This is no surprise to me. Over the past year I’ve been talking to a lot of women about what the greatest barriers are when it comes to building their businesses. Accessing capital is ALWAYS near the top of their lists – again, not a shock considering less than 5% of venture capital goes to women owned businesses.

It’s why I became a SheEO Activator, committing $1000 to build a million dollar pool that will be divided among ten women-owned ventures as an interest-free loan.

It’s also why I am so grateful to  Startup Canada and Evolocity Financial Group for choosing Shecosystem as a recipient of the Women Founders Fund grant.

Launched in August 2016, the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund aims to alleviate some of the financial barriers women face when starting up by providing micro-grants that can be leveraged to support operations and access to growth opportunities including trade missions and skills development.

McTasney, who also happens to be the Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Fellow and one of the Fund adjudicators, says, “The Startup Canada Women Founders Fund provides opportunities for women to start-up strong and prepare to scale. We look forward to seeing the recipients grow their companies and create meaningful impact in their communities.”

I am proud to join three other recipients of the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund. These women are innovators who share a commitment to improving the wellbeing of the people they serve, from the hearing impaired to the elderly. The other winners are:

 * Spreza, a transcription company that provides automatic speech to text and live captioning for greater information accessibility.

Welbi, a platform that helps families take care of their elderly loved ones using uses smart watches to monitor and analyse the health of seniors.

YUMiBOX by YUMiTRITION, a subscription box company that sells whole grain products to support diabetic blood sugar control.

With Shecosystem only two weeks away from the official opening of our coworking and wellness space, this funding will allow me to strengthen my operational capacity so I can focus on serving my community of women entrepreneurs. It’s not sexy, but this moolah is going straight into systems and tools that will help me be a smooth operator, spending less time on admin and more time serving my Shecosisters.

Thank you to Evolocity Financial Group for supporting women founders across Canada, and to Startup Canada for giving us the tools, networks and resources to create meaningful impact in our communities. 

Help us tear down this barrier

Women owned businesses are still under-financed, and most funding decisions are still made by men. I encourage anyone who cares about supporting women – and our world changing businesses – to join me as a SheEO Activator and commit an act of Radical Generosity. And if you are a woman running a business that takes in over 50K in annual revenue (we don’t qualify yet, but someday…) apply as a venture to have a shot at your share of this $1,000,000 pool.

They’ve just extended the deadline to November 30! You can become a 2016 SheEO Activator here and apply to be a 2016 Venture here. 


Financing is not my area of expertise, but I hope that Shecosystem will become a platform and hub for women seeking capital – and for people with capital who want to support female founders. It’s up to our members and partners to cultivate this seed.

Does this sound like something you could contribute to our community? If so, let’s talk.



Women in Biz Network brings Mentorship to Shecosystem

Leigh Mitchell and I met through my work with G Day, when she partnered with us to promote this girls’ rite of passage to her Women in Biz Network Members. We comped her a Media pass, and expected to maybe get a blog post or some social medial love out of it. Not only did Leigh show up on the day of the event, she also rolled up her sleeves and volunteered throughout the day, bright eyed and eager to be of service.


This is how Leigh has woven a nationwide network of trusted connections. Generous to the core, she is always looking for ways to help, and is on a never ending quest to create opportunities for her members to grow and shine.

So, when a few months later, I started dreaming about building Shecosystem’s community, I naturally turned to Leigh for help and mentorship. We talked about the need for work-life integration, shared our experiences of burnout and depression. I told her about my idea for a coworking and wellness Meetup, and she was on board immediately.


She got me.


I had no brand, no pitch deck, no forecasts. But Leigh understood the value of my vision, and she let me post the Meetup on her page – giving me exposure to over 500 women in her group as well as the thousands who engage with the WINB website and social platforms.


Perhaps more importantly, her collaboration brought a third element to this Coworking + Wellness meetup: Mentorship.


Leigh had been running an online mentorship program through Women in Biz, and wanted to provide more value to her members by enabling the mentoring pairs to meet face to face.

cww-photoFrom business strategy coaches to indie publishers, over 30 women stepped up as weekly mentors, offering an ear, an introduction, a nugget of advice. We made mentorship accessible for our community – lowering both the internal and external barriers to accessing this vital relationship.

We offered a constellation of mentors that women could tap into casually, without fear of the cold call. It was safe enough that women who weren’t even sure what they needed help with asked their questions without feeling like they were wasting a very busy person’s time. It was safe enough that mentors could give challenging feedback.

It was also safe enough that women who never thought of themselves as mentors stepped up and learned that they had something of value to share.


There’s no disputing the value of mentorship, particularly for the solopreneurs who make up most of our community. So we’re partnering with Women in Biz Network to make mentorship a core part of Shecosystem’s programming.


Our Mentorship program includes:


    • The revival of our signature Coworking, Wellness + Mentorship meetups beginning in November!




    • One-on-one Mentor Office Hours every other Monday – free for members!


    • 15% off Women in Biz Network membership for Shecosystem members so you can take advantage of programs like their 6 month mentor matching and connect with the women in one of Canada’s fastest growing national organizations.



And me? I get to have Leigh around so that I can continue to learn from her. I am fortunate to have her as a friend and mentor as I continue to nurture our community.


Read Leigh’s Shecosister Profile and you’ll understand why this mentorship collaboration makes me SO happy!