Women-only workspaces could boost your career

The rise of women-only workspaces taps into the trend for collaboration over competition.

(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

The rise of women-only workspaces taps into the trend for collaboration over competition.

Compiled by Andrea Thompson

Women-only workspaces - collaborative shared office space - enable entrepreneurs and start-up founders to network with like-minded businesses and creatives. Could this new trend for open collaboration be the key to career success? Small business owner and designer Lola Hoad talks about the inspiration behind her own women-only workspace collective, One Girl Band, in Brighton.

One Girl Band is a collective for female entrepreneurs and creatives. I noticed all these amazing women doing their own thing, but they were feeling isolated by working from home alone so I wanted to create some women-only workspaces where they could thrive. Relying on social media for company can suck you into self-doubt and comparison – it’s human interaction you need.

The combined power of women is huge. I wanted a space where women could be 100 per cent themselves, to collaborate and skill-swap with women from different fields. I hosted our first meetup in 2015 and we now have a community of women from all over the country. We run monthly meetups and workshops, mentoring schemes, and opened our first female-only co-working space in Brighton.

We are part of a global movement. Women-only workspaces have popped up in the US and Australia, too, as a response to contemporary feminism and as a reaction to the frustrations around male-dominated office cultures. With the powerful energy we saw after the Women’s March and more female entrepreneurs, there is a craving for connection, empowerment and support. That collective mentality helps boost individual self-confidence.

Everyone can be part of a skill-sharing economy. You could be a freelance copywriter finding yourself working alongside a clothes designer; or a marketing exec collaborating with someone who’s building their own app. Skill swapping taps into our sense of sisterhood. Women are better at uniting to give each other a helping hand.

Go to onegirlband.co.uk to find out more

Andrea Thompson
Editor in Chief

 Andrea Thompson is Editor in Chief at Marie Claire UK and was recently named by We are the City as one of the UKs top 50 trailblazers for her work highlighting the impact of Covid on gender equality. 


Andrea has worked as a senior journalist for a range of publications over her 20 year career including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Channel 4, Glamour and Grazia. At Marie Claire Andrea is passionate about telling the stories of those often marginalised by the mainstream media and oversaw a feature about rape in the Congo that won the title an Amnesty Media Award. She also champions women's empowerment, sustainability and diversity and regularly chairs panels and speaks at events about these topics. She sits on the committee of the British Society of Magazine Editors where she acts as Vice Chair and looks after Diversity and Inclusion. She regularly mentors young women from under represented communities trying to break into the media industry.