'Melbourne's One Roof part of a co-working gender revolution'

Recently having featured in a writeup and interview by Spacely Aus, One Roof wishes to thank Spacely Aus for capturing our message and what we stand for so perfectly. One Roof is driving a co-working gender revolution.


Described as “a home, a community, a family” by its members, Melbourne’s One Roof is at the forefront of a revolution to create spaces that aren’t just “female-friendly” – but ready to tackle gender imbalance head-on.

One Roof is Australia's leading women-lead co-working space.

“Everything we do and stand for is dedicated to reducing the entrepreneurial gender imbalance,” says Sheree Rubinstein, founder and CEO at One Roof, which calls itself Australia’s leading co-working space dedicated to women-led businesses.

“We are on a mission to make Australia the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.” And there’s a way to go before that’s a reality.


One Roof is Australia’s leading women-lead co-working space.

Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Cities Index ranked Melbourne – One Roof’s home town – as the 17th best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur. Sydney ranked 11th. Also, women in Australia are twice as likely to start-up a business than men, yet attract just a tiny fraction of start-up capital.

“We have a long way to go to achieving gender equality,” Rubinstein says.

“Key barriers include women’s lack of access to funding. Women tend to be more risk-averse and undervalue our abilities and achievements, whereas men tend to overstate their abilities and achievements. We are still trying to fit women into male-focused environments and programs.


“One Roof exists to change all of that. To change the numbers and cater to women,” she says.

What makes One Roof stand out?

“When we started One Roof, we had no idea it would be a co-working space,” Rubinstein says.

“Through our research and focus groups, we asked women what they felt were the barriers holding them back from success. We came up with the idea of a physical hub that provides everything women need to succeed in business all under one roof.”

Based on a hands-on “‘incubator”-style business support program, One Roof dives into its members’ businesses, goals and aspirations and connects them with like-minded fellow One Roofers, potential clients, investors and service providers.

This is backed up with events and programs catered to the specific and unique challenges women face. Not to mention coffee mornings, meditation and yoga, mastermind workshops, lunch ‘n’ learns on topics such as capital-raising and team culture, free one-on-ones with experts, networking events, pitch nights and investor dinners.

Add to that Friday “wine-downs”, where members can share their challenges and celebrate their wins.

There’s also a regular series of events focused on women and girls in business, leadership, entrepreneurship and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) co-hosted with partners such as Startup Victoria, the League of Extraordinary Women and Business Chicks.

It’s a family

One Roof’s Southbank office is home to 85 businesses with 130 people. There are 14 private offices, 35 co-working desks, four meeting rooms and an event space that can cater for 250. And it’s at capacity.

“When we say we are more than a co-working space, we actually practice what we preach. Many of our members say calling One Roof a co-working space doesn’t do justice to what it actually is,” says Stevie Hoiles, business development and events manager at One Roof.

“They call it a home, a community, a family. Many of them say it has changed their lives. We put our members and their needs front and centre. We are committed to their success. If they succeed, One Roof succeeds.”

Spreading the love

“Co-working for women is the next frontier in helping to close the gender gap,” Hoiles says.

So, it’s not surprising the company is looking to create at least five world-class co-working hubs across Australia over the coming three to five years.

Each space will feature a business lounge with cafe, co-working, private offices, event space and meeting rooms, wellness space, kids’ room and a partnership with childcare operators.

It’s not just about women

While One Roof is female-centric, it’s not female-only.

“Men are crucial to our cause and conversation and are some of One Roof’s biggest and most outspoken advocates,” Hoiles says.

Read the full article and view the amazing Sheree’s interview here: https://www.spacely.com.au/news/melbournes-one-roof-part-of-a-co-working-gender-revolution/

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