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Promoting Diversity in Coworking: andcards and European Coworking Assembly Launch Year-Long Initiative

Helga Moreno
Helga Moreno
Promoting Diversity in Coworking: andcards and European Coworking Assembly Launch Year-Long Initiative
  • andcards and the European Coworking Assembly's Coworking Values Podcast partner to promote diversity and inclusivity in the industry.
  • Starting in March, we will release monthly "Visionaries" podcast series hosted by Bernie J Mitchel and Jose Antonio Morales, featuring interviews with exceptional coworking operators worldwide.
  • The Coworking Smarts blog will also feature extended interviews with the "Visionaries" for deeper insights.

We are thrilled to announce that andcards is partnering with Coworking Values Podcast for an exciting year-long initiative focused on highlighting and amplifying the voices of some of the most unique and diverse spaces in the coworking and flex space industry. This project, aptly named Visionaries, is dedicated to exploring the boundaries of the industry and shining a spotlight on the most unconventional and innovative industry leaders who are breaking new ground and forging a path for the future.

Why Is It Important to Promote Diversity? 

The coworking industry is built on five core values: community, openness, collaboration, sustainability, and accessibility. However, as the world changes and society evolves, it's becoming increasingly important to introduce new concepts that align with the social needs of the next generation of members. One of these new concepts is diversity, which is essential for creating an inclusive and welcoming environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and growth. Here are some reasons why promoting diversity in the coworking industry is so important:

  • Diversity enhances creativity and innovation by bringing together people with different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • It creates a sense of belonging and inclusivity, which leads to better collaboration and teamwork.
  • It helps to eliminate discrimination and bias, making the workspace safer and more comfortable for all members.
  • It attracts a wider range of members, including underrepresented groups, which can help to increase the overall diversity of the industry.

The coworking industry has a significant gender imbalance, with women making up only 40% of the global coworking space membership. In the United States, the representation of Asian members in coworking spaces is proportionate to their representation in the overall population, at 5%. However, Hispanic or Latino and Black or African American members are significantly underrepresented in coworking spaces compared to their representation in the general US population. This highlights the need for greater diversity and inclusion efforts in the coworking industry.

— Source: Zippia

  • It aligns with the values of many of the younger generations who prioritize diversity and inclusion when choosing where to work and do business.

What’s more, there is a growing recognition that promoting diversity in the workplace is not only the right thing to do but also a business imperative. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusivity tend to be more successful and sustainable over the long term, attracting a broader range of clients, investors, and partners.

  • Companies with diverse workforces have been found to enjoy 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee, indicating a positive impact on financial performance.
  • Research has shown that having a diverse management team can increase revenue by 19 percent, indicating that promoting diversity can positively impact a company's bottom line.
  • Gender-diverse companies have a higher likelihood of surpassing industry median financial returns, with a 15 percent greater chance of doing so compared to less diverse companies.

    — Source: builtin

Therefore, promoting diversity in the coworking industry is critical not only to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment but also for the long-term sustainability of coworking spaces.

Not Only Coworking Space Members Can Be Diverse

It's important to recognize that the concept of diversity extends far beyond the composition of a workspace's membership. In fact, there are many coworking spaces that are themselves diverse and unique, catering to a wide range of niches and demographics.

For example, there are women-centric coworking spaces that provide a supportive environment for female entrepreneurs and professionals, such as Ipàdé. There are also coworking spaces designed specifically for digital nomads, such as ololo Creative Hub, which offer a complete remote working experience that includes accommodations, amenities, and networking opportunities.

Additionally, there are wellness-focused coworking spaces, such as LAMB, which prioritize the health and well-being of their members. Coworking spaces for tech startups, such as MY WORKSPACE, provide community-operated environments where people with common interests in computers, technology, science, digital art, or electronic engineering can collaborate.

There are various types of coworking spaces available today, ranging from coworking kitchens and gyms to church communities, military coworking spaces, and even coworking spaces specifically designed for supercar owners such as MOTA. Some of these spaces are so unique that they cannot be easily classified within the general concept of coworking. Our project is dedicated to those amazing coworking spaces that are often considered misfits due to their unique and unconventional nature.

The Goal of Our Research

Varied coworking spaces demonstrate that the concept of diversity is not limited to the composition of a workspace's membership. Instead, it can also be reflected in the unique features, services, and experiences offered by different coworking spaces.

Through this partnership, Coworking Values Podcast and andcards will document the journey to meet the most distinctive and compelling personalities that don’t fit into the generally accepted standards and listen to their stories and outside-the-box ideas. The goal is to encourage others to follow in these entrepreneurs' footsteps, even if a new concept isn't quite what people imagine when they think of coworking.

Igor Dzhebyan, Co-CEO of andcards

"As a company operating in over 40 countries across hundreds of coworking spaces, we celebrate the industry’s diversity and inclusivity. That's why we're thrilled to partner with Coworking Values Podcast to launch the Visionaries project," said Igor Dzhebyan, Co-CEO of andcards.

"Together, we will bring fresh perspectives, amplify new voices, and inspire the industry to be even more forward-looking and change-bringing."

About the Visionaries Project

The project will include a podcast series featuring thought-provoking discussions with courageous trendsetters that drive the future of the coworking and flex space industry. This initiative will also engage the community through social media, blogs, and newsletters, creating a platform for coworking enthusiasts, operators, and members to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas.

As we continue to explore unconventional coworking business models on our podcast, we're discovering some truly unique and valuable insights from a range of perspectives. It's exciting to think about how we can share these insights with our audience in new and innovative ways…

Jose Antonio Morales, Host of Coworking Values Podcast

"We are excited to collaborate with andcards on this innovative project that aims to amplify the diversity and sustainability of the coworking industry. Our mission at Coworking Values Podcast is to promote ethical, community-driven coworking practices, and this partnership aligns with our values."

Jose Antonio Morales, Host of Coworking Values Podcast.

This partnership between andcards and Coworking Values Podcast is a step towards creating a more inclusive and sustainable coworking industry, and we invite everyone to join us on this journey.

How to Follow

We are excited to announce that the first episode of the Visionaries podcast series will be released at the beginning of March! Our first special guest is from exotic Kyrgyzstan, which is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Being nomads by nature, ololo Creative Hub owners are building a future city for digital nomads to live each moment and enjoy what they do.

Be sure to tune in by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media channels. Visit Coworking Smarts for more updates, text versions of interviews, and information about the project.

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