Traditionally in society, what’s embedded in women is the idea that they need to be approached and taken care of. This is seen in dating, in family life, and at times even in the workplace. Interestingly this seems to be playing out in the co-working industry as more men tend to take up co-working spaces than women.
I manage a co-working space and despite offering discount workspace and free monthly business training solely for women, we have mostly male clients! So I set out to find out why women do not take up such available resource likely to help them get their business off the ground, and here are the four reasons I uncovered:
1. Men find it a lot easier to source for information than women
Men leverage their networks faster for information than women, and willing to ask questions, unlike women who tend to want to do it all alone; ask no questions, and simply make it work anyway!
2. Men make quick decisions while women consult before taking the leap
While this may not be true for all men, male entrepreneurs can be more decisive and confident than women. They tend not to risk missing an opportunity by delaying decision-making, unlike women who need that extra nudge and an extra affirming voice before signing off on a decision.
3. Men need not separate business from their gender identity
While men need not separate business from their gender, women tend to be conscious of the gender divide. I’m female and believe it or not – I sometimes tend to think of being taken advantage of in the business ecosystem- simply for being a woman. That may appear paranoia, but then it’s there and must be dealt with! So while more ‘women only’ co-work spaces are coming up – I don’t think it will help solve the gender divide challenges; co-working with a gender bias will only widen a gap we seek to close in the entrepreneurial space.
4. Men are more of extroverts fun loving and very open
This is also perhaps a perception issue. But then I’ve had to caution myself as a female business owner many times for being hard on myself – on very simple issues. Men work and have fun easily than women – and co-working requires that aspect of being an extrovert- willing to share your space!