Ok, so we know we’re not little kids anymore, and yes, we’d like to think we’ve grown up a little from “no boys allowed!” But, even now, when the women’s equality movement is stronger than ever before, we can’t deny the enduring charm of those establishments created especially for the ladies. In celebration of this month’s girl-centric theme, we reveal our top five female-focused havens.
Long before Virginia Woolf wrote, A Room of One’s Own, ladies have understood the importance of finding our own square meter to get stuff done. Launched in 2015 by entrepreneur, Audrey Gelman, Manhatten’s The Wing, has set the standard for women-only workspaces. With a successful career in PR, Gelman set out with the intention of making women’s clubs hip again, hoping to redefine what a ladies club should be. Featuring a gym, ‘lactation spaces’, co-working areas, a café, and a salon, The Wingaims to generate opportunities, ideas, and conversations as a means to promote greater prosperity for womankind.
Melbourne-based One Roof promotes itself as an “ecosystem for women-led businesses to thrive”. Founder and CEO, Sheree Rubinstein is a self-described “corporate lawyer turned entrepreneur, passionate about curating spaces and experiences that support women to truly thrive.” One Roofis an inclusive space – if you’re not a woman, yes, you are allowed through the door… however, they do specifically market themselves as a space for providing everything a female entrepreneur needs to thrive under (you guessed it) one roof. Think childcare, meditation classes, bespoke events, weekly support sessions on topics like social media, sales, and finance. With plans to expand into every major city in the country, we’re sure we’ll be seeing One Roof in Sydney soon.
McIver’s Ladies Baths, also known as Coogee Women’s Pool, is the last remaining female-only sea-water pool in Australia. Though the baths themselves were built in 1886 the area is said to have been used as a spot by women for bathing from as early as 1876! Thanks to an exemption from the NSW Anti-Discrimination in 1995, the pool continues to be a favourite bathing spot for the gals.
Closer to home, Surry Hills’ newest fitness craze, Zadiis a “boutique studio for bad-ass women”. Run by women, for women, Zadi offers an intimate studio environment with HIIT circuit and functional combination programs. After more than twelve years in the fitness industry, co-founder Adala Boloto decided to put her skills in creating specifically designed fitness programs for women to the test with, Zadi. The goal? To connect a community of strong women who kick butt and have fun in the process!
Now in its seventh year, All About Women Festivalat the Sydney Opera House promises to be a provocative investigation into the latest thinking on female-focused issues around gender, #metoo, politics and the voices of the future. The day-long festival features panels, workshops with international guest speakers as well as familiar names from home. Although tickets are now scarce, you can still catch London-based cultural commentator Ayishat Akanbi, Pan-African feminist Aya Chebbi and Indigenous artist and activist Aretha Brown discuss The Future of Feminism. Alternatively, listen as Melbourne’s Clementine Ford talks all things masculinity alongside media personality and host of the Bachelorette, Osher Günsberg and film-maker Vonne Patiag in Man Up. Keen to learn some new skills? Why not try Be A Lady Tradie, a carpentry workshop with Penny Petridis where you’ll learn how to use carpentry tools and even get to take home something special that you’ve built yourself!
You can find more information and tickets available here
George McEnroe is a single mother of four, a stand-up comedian, an English teacher, a welfare coordinator AND the founder of Shebah, Australia’s first ever female-only ride-sharing service. After twice applying to become an Uber driver herself, George backed out due to safety concerns. Similarly, her teenage daughter had begun to voice concerns about using rideshares and taxis alone. Entrepreneur that she is, McEnroe took it upon herself to come up with a solve for both female riders and drivers. Hello, Shebah!
Wondering what to do with your Wednesday? Join like-minded ladies for a glass of wine (or two) at Future Women’s weekly gathering at Kafnuin Alexandria. Future Women is an organization aimed at connecting like-minded women through community, events and ambitious journalism. With a motto like “Every woman for herself every woman”, you can begin to understand the kind of inclusive, support structure that founder Helen McCabe has set out to create. With regular events such as In Conversation – this months is a sold-out chat with Leigh Sales, Executive Summits on issues like gender equality, and Studio Sessions, with industry experts like Joanna Eleanor, the calligrapher behind brands like Chanel, Dior and Givenchy (just to name a few!)
Become a member for as little as $7 a month to gain access to exclusive Podcasts, articles, events and community forums, all accessible on their website.