Finding the Support You Need, to Be the Change You Wish to See
BY GRETCHEN KELSEY
In 1913, Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Many women go into business to accomplish that very thing, based on our passions, talents, and desire to create a better world. But today, this once inspiring statement often reads as an idyllic musing because we cannot even “be” in the way we wish, let alone be the change we wish to see.
Almost 100 years later, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explained it perfectly, “Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
The bitter truth is that it is difficult to be the change we wish to see in the world when we must also first be a mother, a wife, a caretaker, a homemaker, a support person…and now, also a quasi-teacher/tech facilitator.
The fact is that coronavirus is impacting the careers and lives of women four times more negatively than men. In case you are reading fast: for every 100 men suffering from the impact of coronavirus, there are 400 more women who are forced to make negative career-ending, life-altering decisions. Many schools are closed for in-person learning, many daycares remain shut down or are operating at reduced hours and capacity, and extended families are unable to travel to provide support.
In September alone, 865,000 women dropped out of the workforce compared to 216,000 men. We are dangerously close to erasing all the progress made toward gender diversity in the workforce.
The McKinsey & Company’s annual report notes that corporate America is at a critical crossroads. “If companies make significant investments in building a more flexible and empathetic workplace—and there are signs that this is starting to happen—they can retain the employees most impacted by today’s crises and create more opportunities for women to succeed in the long term.”
And what about our fellow female solopreneurs, small businesses owners, and entrepreneurs? Who is providing an empathetic workplace for them? Who is creating more opportunities for them to succeed?
Coworking spaces like ours can and do offer this invaluable support to YOU, our female workforce, whether you are a solopreneur or work for a larger company or organization.
While we cannot take care of your family or teach your children math, we offer you a space to work virtually or in person, practical professional development workshops, and wellness programming to support your physical and mental wellbeing — unarguably critical for success.
A coworking community also offers a group of like-minded professionals at your fingertips to help you brainstorm through your business challenges. For the small business owner, this could save you from making costly mistakes, which could be the difference between staying in business or closing down. It is also there to celebrate your every win.
Coworking members love to create strategic business relationships with one another and are the first to make invaluable referrals.
Above all, coworking spaces offer connection, a supportive community, and even friendship, which is a priceless benefit, and one that our members have found especially critical during this time.
“I’m so glad I had this community through the pandemic. We are not alone. We build trust and help one another. We speak the same language and understand the challenges.” – Athena Scalise Waitt, Wise Oils Wellness LLC
If you are surviving the day-to-day without enough or the right support, wearing too many hats all the time, constantly on the brink of burnout — but you HAVE to make your business work or WANT to be able to weather this pandemic and continue working toward being the change you wish to see… Take the initiative to find the support you need. Become a Rowan Tree member today to support yourself – to connect and start growing with us today.
Or, if you are an organization looking for a way to offer support for your employees, we welcome the opportunity to build custom packages based on your needs – please reach out to us.