Take for example, the explosion of women’s co-working. Seattle-based The Riveter offers coworking ‘built for women’ and now has multiple locations in Seattle and in LA with plans to open in 6 other cities across the nation including Austin, Atlanta, Portland, Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis. Similarly expanding, New York based The Wing provides a social club for women, including coworking, and states its mission as the advancement of women through community.
Online communities like THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ are focusing on the growing freelance economy and aggregating a too often fragmented group of women freelancers and consultants, into an online collective of independent professionals. THE JILLS, as their members are dubbed, provide diverse services to businesses of every scale from solos and start-ups to small businesses and corporate giants. They aim to create a ‘sisterhood for solos’ and tout the merits for women to work as independents and reinforce that this should not equate to working alone.
The newly founded, Madison based, DirectorHERy seeks to connect women-owned businesses with consumers who want to see them prosper through their online directory. And SheEO is tackling the female funding gap, by mobilizing women to build communities to support and fund women entrepreneurs through their model of ‘radical generosity’.
Women want to see women succeed. They know there are droves of amazingly talented women, like themselves, who are eager to work and create, having found very little of what they need or want in traditional workplace settings. They’re their friends, and neighbors, they meet at the gym, at playgroups and book clubs and more recently they’re finding each other through women based co-working spaces and digital community-based platforms.
They are building each other up and encouraging and designing a future of work that works for women. They know the critical importance of developing collaborative, reciprocal relationships within their communities to build their knowledge, their skills, and their teams. They are using collaboration to build businesses and build wealth. They are modeling and leading a new economy - the future of work.
For women led ventures, collaboration is winning over competition and building a strong ecosystem for women entrepreneurs to continue to grow and thrive.
If any of us is to find our path in the new economy, it’s about time we start to look at the women who are leading the way for us, and figure out how we might catch up.