ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- 2017 was the year of the woman. From the "Me Too" hashtag on social media to the "Times Up" movement, women stole headlines for speaking up about sexual harassment.
In the midst of this culture reckoning, two women in St. Petersburg started a company with a mission to create a safe work space for women.
The Doyenne Company offers a place for women to work, network, or socialize. Whether you work from home or need a break from your usual cubicle, everyone is welcome….as long as you're a woman.
Maghan Morin and Jeanine Suah created a company on the premise that women thrive when surrounded by other women.
"We're not trying to kick males out of our space. That's unrealistic. We both love men, love my husband, you love your husband but sometimes you just need to be surrounded around women who just understand," explained Suah.
The Doyenne Company hosted one of their pop-up workspaces at Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg. About 70 women came through, some worked quietly on their laptops while others shared ideas and exchanged numbers.
Alison Barlow attended the workspace. Barlow is the Executive Director of the St. Petersburg Innovation District. She thinks there's a lot of competition in male-dominated work environments, whereas the Doyenne Company's space offers more laughter, openness, and curiosity.
"Pretty much a lot of times, I was the only woman in the room, and what I love about this kind of space is it's a little more comfortable, you can have some conversations, joke around, and there's also a lot of camaraderie," said Barlow.
Katie Hamm is a local artist and jewelry designer. She attended the event to network and meet other business women.
Hamm added, "You're not having to worry about, is my dress too revealing or is it too tight?"
Up until recently, the female-only co-working spaces were free to attend however The Doyenne Company now plans on charging a membership fee to sustain their business.
At a time when sexual harassment against women in the workplace appears to be as common as the water cooler, perhaps a place like this is a popular alternative.
The Doyenne is holding their next pop-up co-working space February 7th at Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails. You can sign-up and learn more about The Doyenne here.
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