Tag Archives: Inspire9

International Women’s Day 2014 #IWD2014 and coworking

International Women’s Day 2014 was last Saturday, 8th March. While this important day is still fresh in our minds (well at least my mind), here are a few thoughts about women and the coworking scene. Four Melbourne inner city coworking spaces spring to mind in how they support women.

Electron Workshop North Melbourne

Electron Workshop coworking space

Electron Workshop
I visited Electron Workshop (EW), a funky coworking space in North Melbourne earlier this year and was impressed with their stylish yet functional converted warehouse style factory space. I also met the friendly owners Martin (Marty) Gleeson and Nick Jaffe and had a chat and a quick tour. Their coworking space opened in 2011, after they converted the old ‘Bulla’ (brand) cream factory.

‘Coworking spaces can be male dominated,
but are often female friendly nonetheless.’

As the conversation turned to the different coworking spaces that are popping up, I mentioned to Marty that I was intrigued with the name of a fairly new coworking space in Richmond called ‘Themanroom’. We pondered the wisdom of such a name, which I believe is a special term used by the founders, originally in their own home. However, I feel if they wish to attract women members, I wonder if there might be a better alternative. On that point, I’ve since noticed that there may be a name change in the wind for them. 1nerground (Anothermanroom) is a new business name listed at the same address as ‘Themanroom’. I’m still trying to track down the founders Chrystal and Nikos Psaltopoulos to find out more about this space which I’ve visited (nice vibe), but the members seemed to be enjoying one of the benefits of being self employed, they weren’t there! After all, it was a beautiful day outside. Stay tuned.

Fika at Hub Melbourne

Fika break at Hub Melbourne with L to R, Anetta Pizag, Ella Agren, Kathleen Asjes (hostess) and Jane Deany

The reason I mentioned this discussion about ‘themanroom’ was because it prompted Marty to tell me that EW is very pro-women, so much so that they sponsor a desk for 3-6 months for a female, to help get more women into the ICT industry, especially at the more ‘geek’ i.e. programming/development end of the spectrum. It’s a great initiative. For more information on their ‘grant’ initiative, see link here to the grants section of their website.

EW also hosts a female focused Meetup group ‘Melbourne Drupalchix‘ (for female Drupal users) which meets at Electron Workshop on a monthly basis. EW’s support of women doesn’t end there, as they provide a desk at no charge for a couple of women who are involved with the ‘Hollaback’ global movement/project which is designed to end street harassment of women. For more information see link to the www.melbourne.ihollaback.org website here.

Inspire9 Richmond

Inspire9 coworking space

Electron Workshop is also currently the ‘anchor’ venue for Jelly Meetups which provide free coworking on a semi regular basis (fortnightly/monthly) on Fridays. See my post on the ‘Jelly’ scene, link here.

Hub Melbourne
In late 2013, in Hub Melbourne‘s 2nd year of operation, a member survey was taken (Hub Health Index) and one thing I found interesting was that the balance of the sexes was almost even with 49% women to 51% men. Many coworking spaces tend to have a significantly higher percentage of men, due to the tech start-up/app developer focus of some of the spaces. I think the virtually even sex ratio of members at the Hub makes for a very real world and naturally balanced (co)working environment. Well done HubMelbourne for this achievement. 

‘WordChicks Meetup is held at York Butter Factory

York Butter Factory Melbourne

York Butter Factory coworking space

Inspire9 & York Butter Factory
To the credit of Inspire9 and York Butter Factory, each of these coworking spaces host a number of female focused Meetup groups, for example ‘Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne‘ at Inspire9 and ‘WordChicks‘ (a sub-group of WordPress Melbourne) is held at York Butter Factory.

It’s great to see women supported so well through the coworking community.

Cheers, Jane Deany

Jelly provides a taste of coworking

There are a few different ways to trial coworking to see what it’s all about. I know that Hub’s three Australian coworking spaces, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, have a free day pass available so you can try coworking for a day and see if you like it. Inspire9 allows casual drop-in’s, check with them for details.

Another way to try coworking is via ‘Jelly‘ (www.workatjelly.com), a movement that creates the opportunity for casual coworking at different spaces around the world on a semi regular basis.

Coworkers at Collins Collective

Coworking at Collins Collective. I’m facing the camera.

Jelly started in New York City in February 2006 when roommates Amit and Luke realised they loved working from home but missed the creative brainstorming, sharing and camaraderie that came from a traditional office. They started inviting friends to come over once a week to work from home and this lead to some new ideas and interesting conversations. They decided to make it a regular thing and the Jelly movement was born.

Jelly has grown since then and there are over 100 cities around the world that are involved. You can find a list of participating cities from Jelly’s wiki – wiki.workatjelly.com.

Jelly is open to anyone and it’s free!”

My hometown Melbourne Victoria Australia has a Jelly and it’s run through www.meetup.com. Here’s the link to Melbourne Jelly (via meetup.com).

I’ve been to a couple of Jelly Meetups late last year (2013). Both happened to be at the same, very new coworking space called ‘Collins Collective‘ in Collins Street Melbourne.

It’s a medium sized coworking space and they’re just getting established. I’ve met some interesting and friendly people there and as always, there’s a diverse mix of coworkers. I was lucky to strike their Christmas drinks in December.

There seems to be a steady stream of events being held at most of the coworking spaces I’ve been to. You never know what social or professional development opportunities might crop up, as they often do. That’s another great benefit I’ve found about coworking.

More about Collins Collective in the future.

I’ll finish by saying that the Jelly option is a fantastic opportunity to trial coworking. Some people do it just to get out of their offices and to have a change of pace and get fresh ideas.

Jelly is open to anyone and it’s free!

Cheers, Jane Deany

How did I find out about coworking?

Inspire9 coworking space

Inspire9 coworking space, image from their website

Inspire9 served as my introduction to coworking. As a new member of the Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) back in 2012, the Chairman Bret Treasure mentioned I should join some Meetup groups related to web design, such as WordPress Melbourne. I did just that and WordPress Melbourne Meetup was held at a coworking space called Inspire9. This funky coworking space is located on the edge of the Melbourne CBD in Richmond, in an old 1910 former knitting mill. It’s also right near the Richmond Station which makes it very convenient to get to.

The Inspire9 coworking space was established several years ago and is home to start-ups, especially tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. There are lots of events held there too.

It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for somewhere to cowork.

www.coworkingiscool.com is a new project which will introduce readers to coworking. It will also describe some other cool coworking spaces, and most importantly, it will share some positive stories of coworking experiences.

Positive Coworking Stories
I plan to write about some inspiring stories of how people collaborated via coworking and created something such as a new product or innovative idea that would not have happened if they had not met via their coworking space.

I think there will be some really fabulous stories to be told in the coming months and years.

Cheers, Jane Deany