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:

Community
Sustainability
Accessibility
Collaboration
Openness

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