“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.”- Orson Scott Card
By Avary Kent (CEO, The Happiness Institute)
While finishing her degree at Stanford University, Dr. Mary Murphy studied social identity threat, an interesting behavior that occurs when we sense we are in the minority - we act out our internal stereotypes. Our heart rate increases, we sweat more, the beginning of flight-or-fight kicks in. Research has shown this to be particularly relevant with women entrepreneurs.
This dynamic of self-fulfilling performance anxiety when we know we are the minority plays out in how women get funding for their company. Recent research by Cindy Padnos found that high-tech companies built and led by women are more capital efficient than their male counterparts - namely that they have 12% higher annual revenues than similar companies led by men.
This indicates a real arbitrage opportunity for investors. According to the Dow Jones VentureSource, only 11% of the investments made by VC’s go to women led companies. So why do women build stronger, more resilient businesses?
At The Happiness Institute, we believe is it because of the strength of the social community women build around them - and we want to enable this type of powerful connection.
We think tech professional woman want to feel connected to a community they can leverage for help and support in all aspects of their lives. Other women entrepreneurs may crave a chance to find key creative, innovative, technical talent and partnerships.
The Happiness Institutes’ mission is to explore the question, “What Makes You Come Alive?” We think this community can help tech professional achieve their highest ambitions and achieve authentic balance.
The Women 2.0 community is a perfect example of how women thrive in relationship to other women. On October 22, we are not just hosting another talking head panel. Instead, we are inviting you to share your voice, your experience, and your perspective to define how co-working that works for women is different, and what we as The Happiness Institute can do to deliver this support and value to the community.
The Art of Design: Co-Working that Works for Women on October 22 is the first in a series of events connecting women entrepreneurs through our space in San Francisco to create together what we cannot create alone.
Thanks to Devon Shane for assisting in writing this article.
Women 2.0 readers: What did you think of coworking spaces - are they designed for women or should they be? Let us know in the comments!
About the guest blogger: Avary Kent is the CEO of The Happiness Institute. She is currently working on a number of ventures designed to amplify the power of investing to create a positive impact. Through The Happiness Institute, Impact IQ, and HIP Investor, Avery is working to create positive social, environmental and financial change in the world. She started her career as a genetic engineer for George Washington University Labs, moving to Geobotanical Field Ecology and endangered species restoration in Virginia and Maryland.