Co-working spaces have emerged as a growth hub for the startups and the freelancers throughout the world. Coworking spaces have become a lot more than a mere workspace. These spaces have become the breeding grounds for innovation and collaboration. Startup founders and employees feel more productive and comfortable while working out of coworking spaces.
The growth of the coworking industry in India has also been tremendous. The beginning of coworking in India was a bit humble with the idea of providing a suitable infrastructure to the individuals and startups, which they could not get at home. However, as the industry evolved, coworking spaces became much more than just infrastructure. Thus coworking started becoming the first choice for any small company to start their office.
We had also written a post on How coworking spaces are bringing women back to the workplace. It is being observed that working women who had taken a break from professional life due to family obligations and other factors, have started joining the workplace again. Many of these women have ventured out with their own business/startup and coworking spaces are providing them with the necessary comfort and confidence to go out and get an office of their own.
Is there a need for Women Only Coworking Spaces?
India has separate train coaches for women, bus seats, auto rickshaws, airport lounges and what not. Some companies have even provided women only hotels and hostels in the country. Now the question arises, that whether India needs women-only co-working spaces?
Possible Benefits of Women Only Coworking Spaces
The idea of a women-only co-working space promotes women empowerment. When a group of women works at one place, they tend to face the same difficulties and challenges. This sense of unity creates an atmosphere of support and safety. The women-only coworking spaces are informal where women share their ideas and empower each other to prosper.
Also, the corporate and startup world is still dominated with men. Many a times, women are not willing to share a competitive environment with men in their initial days. They want themselves to be out of this equation and thus, want to work at a place which is surrounded by women only. The comfort level that a female wants even at work is quite different from what a male requires.
In a country like India, where the crime rate is high, the idea of a women-only coworking space could be a huge step towards the protection of the females.
The Negative Side of the Equation – Cons of Women only Coworking Spaces
Also, one should not forget that a coworking space is headed by an individual or a group of individuals who look after the safety of all the members (men and women). A coworking space usually attracts sensible and professional people. Anything bad that can happen to a woman, can also happen to a man, and that too not only at a coworking space but at any other place as well!
Promoting the idea of women-only coworking space might also promote gender division which is not a good sign for the growth of the country as a whole.
Building separate working places for men and women also affects the work quality in a negative manner. The more the people work together, the more efficient will be your work performance. This is because if you build a strong network, you can get more creative ideas for your work and also quick and easy solutions to all your problems.
Thus, whether a women-only coworking space is needed by the Indian society or not is still an unanswered question. The opinion around this topic would hugely differ from person to person in city to city of the country.