Better the balance, better the world

International Women’s Day #BalanceForBetter

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Every year as International Women’s Day comes around on the 8th of March it is a poignant time for us to stop and reflect. To reflect on how far we have come to achieving a gender-balance world, to consider how far we have to go and to think about how effective our progress to date has actually been.

International Women’s Day also marks another important anniversary. The birth of One Roof. It has been nearly three years since we signed a lease on our premises in Southbank and quickly became the leading co-working space in Australia dedicated to women-led businesses. We have held on to our mission very tightly to be the driving force that puts Australia on the map as the #1 destination in the world to be a female entrepreneur.

Of course when I first founded One Roof there was push back. There was doubt and discomfort. There was uncertainty around the definition of a ‘woman-led business’ and whether fostering a space dedicated to advancing gender equality in business and entrepreneurship would actually succeed.

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But we managed to prove the naysayers wrong and convince the startup ecosystem of the value and importance of a space and community like One Roof. As the leading co-working space in Australia dedicated to women-led businesses we have well over 85 businesses working under One Roof, hosting on average four events every week and we have forged an online community of tens of thousands of people around Australia.

The official IWD website explains:

Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage ...Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.

We all benefit from a gender-balanced world and we all have a part to play. We have witnessed this time and time again at One Roof. Every single person who walks through our doors benefits from the way we do things. We have fostered an environment built on community, support, gender equality, authenticity, openness, courage, ambition, innovation and the desire to do things differently.

We don’t settle with old, outdated ways of living and working that don’t serve any of us. At One Roof we are all reshaping the future on our own terms. We are creating impact driven businesses, we are growing diverse teams, we are implementing important policies that allow for greater flexibility, we are building products and services with missions to make the world a better place.

#BalanceForBetter is a theme that really resonates with us. With a gender-balanced world we will all thrive. Products and services will be built for everyone, governments will implement policies that take all issues into consideration, companies will be more profitable, startups will have a higher return on investment, everyone will benefit.

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I recently read an article on 10 stats that build the case for investing in women-led startups. While women need to work harder given a severe gendered funding gap, startups founded and co-founded by women actually perform better over time, generating 10% more in cumulative revenue over a five-year period (according to BCG). Investing in women isn’t just social, moral or fair, it is a sound economic decision!

So in reflection, while we are undoubtedly progressing, we still have a long way to go. The challenges become less obvious and more deeply ingrained in cultures, norms, attitudes and systems. We need to take action, call out wrong-doing, admit when we make mistakes, acknowledge our biases (because, we all have them), be honest about our experiences and, when it comes to women-led startups, back and invest in more of them!

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I recently sat down with Officeworks and a few amazing female founders in our community. In the lead up to International Women’s Day we discussed our respective experiences as female founders, how we build confidence and how we deal with the ‘mental load.’

Building Self Confidence

The Mental Load

Interested in being apart of the movement of #BalanceForBetter? Want to join the amazing One Roof community? Looking for business support and a great place to work? One Roof was recently voted the top 5 female centric co-working spaces in the world! Read about it here

And sign up for a one week free trial with us here.

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