Earlier this week we learned that readers of the Minnesota Women’s Press voted us as their favorite coworking space. As a female member of the Fueled Collective team and a woman who has managed my own business within our workspaces, I’m delighted to learn that so many other women feel the same way that I do – that our workspaces offer the sort of environment where women want to show up and experience meaningful connections and an inclusive environment.
“I feel like women are encouraged and honored in our coworking spaces,” said Jessica Birken, a member who recently celebrated both her two-year anniversary at Fueled Collective and the two-year anniversary of launching her own law practice serving nonprofits (go, Jessica!).
Birken is based in our Northeast location with her own dedicated desk – a commitment she remembers making only a few days into her initial membership with us. She signed up for a membership to join a flexible workspace that would be considered more professional than meeting clients at your average coffee shop – but what’s kept her showing up has been equal parts location within the Northeast arts district and Fueled Collective’s culture.
“Everyone is very welcoming and friendly,” Birken said. “I appreciate the variety of people that I get to interact with.” And as a mother, she’s appreciated the inclusion of nursing rooms that are available to anyone, members and guests alike.
Cam Leonard, a partner at the Wildflower Foundation, which focuses on creating spaces for learning that support children, families and teachers, spent weeks using the nursing room in the Uptown location and witnessed the room’s evolution. “The staff repeatedly asked me how they might improve this room over time and made the adjustments they could make. These were both functional and beautiful. It’s clear the staff cared about making it a special place for moms!”
But of course, for many women, a nursing room may never be personally needed – and shouldn’t be considered as the defining characteristic of whether a workspace is truly inclusive for women. Efforts towards genuine diversity and inclusion do not manifest themselves in boxes to check, but are deeply embedded within a workspace’s culture.
Let’s get the obvious question out of the way: why, as a woman, should you choose Fueled Collective when there are workspaces specifically designed for the female (or nonbinary) experience in the Twin Cities?
Our mission at Fueled Collective is to encourage diversity in thought and practice – it’s why we haven’t narrowed down the type of people we invite into our space. When we focus on creating diverse and inclusive environments, that’s when the magic happens – the magic that exists when a collection of people who wouldn’t expect to find themselves seated at the same table do, becoming each other’s clients, collaborators, teammates and friends.
“You don’t feel like this is a man’s space,” said Natalia Trent, the Chief Talent Officer of Right Source Compliance, a consulting firm working to reshape the future of the affordable housing industry. “Fueled Collective creates an inviting, collaborative space for women to thrive and be productive during the work day.”
“From my experience over the past four years,” Trent said, “One – seeing other like-minded women professionals, entrepreneurs and small business owners is encouraging. And two – Fueled Collective provides awesome community events that are lead by women with diverse skillsets and backgrounds, this is a wonderful place to learn and grow professionally.”
To my fellow women in the Twin Cities metro and around the region – our team at Fueled Collective is committed to prioritizing your experience in our shared workspaces. I’d personally like to invite you to join me at Fueled Collective for a tour and complementary day of coworking. You can find me in our shared workspace on 1010 West Lake Street – or any of my teammates, Carolyn, Breana, Claire, Chloe, Sara and Steve – all ready to serve you as the community managers across our Twin Cities and Chicago workspaces, working to build environments that feel like a second home – for everybody.