Trending in Coworking: Female Focus at GirlSpace
Meet Emmarie Dempsey, GirlSpace Founder
Female focused coworking spaces is a rising trend in the coworking world. Emmarie Dempsey, founder of GirlSpace recognizes the need for this type of work environment after managing 6 successful spaces alone. Like any great entrepreneur, Emmarie is forging forward in crowdfunding to raise $60k to launch GirlSpace by 2018. She shares her story of what inspires her to open GirlSpace.
What’s your background?
Born in the Philippines, raised in Michigan, and started “ living life” as we call it in sunny California immediately after graduating from Michigan State University. I was part of a sorority where I learned about comradery and the sense of feeling safe around other women. Ever since graduating, I’ve never had that comradery feeling again and I always thought it would be great if my workplace had that sense of feeling.
How did you discover coworking?
I applied for an office manager position for a company called Cross Campus. They were a coworking startup at the time focusing on app developers. Members mainly consisted of all men and it literally felt like I worked at a fraternity. Working there gave me my first taste in coworking.
What makes you want to open a coworking space of your own?
As a woman entrepreneur, we tend to discuss all the barriers we have in common, one of which is the need to feel safe at work. The media today exposes bullying and sexual harassment in the workforce therefore, it’s important GirlSpace is a safe haven for us.
What influenced the decision to create a female focused space?
I had a baby and a full time job. How wonderful would it be if we could provide a better child day care option for working mom entrepreneurs? Yes, having a baby can change your world views and lifestyle!
What are the benefits of a female focused coworking space?
I like to use the expression, birds of a feather, flock together. Working in a female focused workspace can provide that special je ne sais quoi that no other co-ed space can offer. I’m talking about having that “Me too!” moment when girls get together. It’s that comradery feeling you get and that is what keeps women going and feeling inspired and capable.
Do you ever receive any criticism for having a “female only” space? If so how do you respond?
I’m quick to give them the lay of the land meaning, this isn’t a “no boys allowed” club or anything of the sort. And it is legal to have a female focused coworking spaces as they are on the rise after all. I guess the number 1 rule about men at GirlSpace is men can work here but cannot be members. Along with having a day care, that’s what separates us from other coworking spaces.
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Photos: GirlSpace and AKFF