Blackbird House, A Black-Owned Co-Working Space, Is Working To Advance And Support Diverse Businesswomen

 Blackbird House

Bridgid Coulter founds Blackbird house. Her inspiration behind having such a place was for her and other women of colour to find a place where they could feel supported, guided, and advance in their personality and profession. A co-working space founded in Los Angeles also became home to Lisa Gordon, a retired Psychologist. As for Lisa, after retiring, she looked forward to getting a place that would make her comfortable in her career and with people of the same race. After visiting many sites, she realized that most were not welcoming, especially to people of a different race, even though such places were empowering. Upon learning about Blackbird, Lisa was relieving to her because she knew people already in the space could understand her flaws helping her to overcome them. At the same time, she would make the transition to being a businesswoman.

Role of a co-working space

Black-owned working spaces are significantly increasing. Today, most Americans are working from home due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Most women of colour find it relieving to work at home away from all the hassle encountered in a white colour job. Working from home as well helps women to take care of their families while at the same time being productive at work. A survey conducted in 2021 by Future Forum stated that most black women forced to work from home are treated more fairly than initially and are even more productive.

After Covid 19 subsided, many black women and Latinos are not in a hurry to return to their offices. 41% of Latin women and 48% prefer to continue working from the comfort of their sofas and dining tables. Working from home is enjoyable to such people, but it also has its fair share of hardships, especially for people with kids or a noisy family. Coming from such an environment requires co-working space to make the home working experience feel better. With quiet working spaces, people can work comfortably without having to go to the office. Such places are also incredible with community development and foster creativity with other people of racism. Blackbird and other co-working spaces spice up an individual’s experience while working away from the office and provide an environment where people can work on projects with a tight deadline due to its quiet atmosphere.

Supporting business women of colour

Bridgid’s main reason for opening the co-space environment was that many women of colour were not well represented in the co-working spaces that were already in existence. She got curious about what a co-working space prioritizing women of colour would look like and thus started Blackbird house. Today the house is beneficial, especially after the Covid 19 pandemic where many people are taking their financial freedom into their own hands. The place has eased the hardships that were initially present in getting a space whereby one would be supportive. Ericka James, the dean of the Walton School of the University of Pennsylvania, during an interview held in 2020, pointed out that the business world was slow to reflect the racial make-up of the country. He added that so far, it has been possible for people to go to the moon, more that it is possible to have self-driven cars, and people have even created social media platforms for people from all over the world to communicate. These achievements indicate that people have been ignored or have not majored in creating a more diverse working environment.

Blackbird is more than  a working space

Blackbird house is not only a co-working space but also a place where giving in-person and digital responsibility takes care of the rate of production, mental health or well-being and advocacy of women of colour. Bridgid Cheadle plans the house in other states and even internationally. The blackbird house in Los Angeles includes a communal work environment, six private offices, multiple conference rooms, a meditation room and a café. In as much as the space prioritizes mainly women of colour, it is also open to other women.

Cheadle spent a lot of time marshalling Blackbird house so its members would feel at home when they visited. It also aims at creating an experience for its members instead of a “folding table in the back”. She curated the house so that people who would visit would think about the beauty of other luxurious and gorgeous places such as Neue House and SoHo house and think of themselves in the same way. Some of its members classify the space as one whereby people appreciate themselves as they are without necessarily having the pressure of code-switch while working. Lisa terms the space as perfect and one that suits her needs perfectly well.