Seattle Women Take On 'Bro-Working,' Scourge of the American Office

Don't expect beer pong at the Riveter, a coworking space for women.
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A quiet corner for contemplation and connection at female-focused The Riveter.

If you’ve ever visited one of Seattle’s coworking spaces, chances are you’ve witnessed a game or two of beer pong. Often, these spaces foster an environment that Kim Peltola and Amy Nelson call “bro-working”—one that most women find neither engaging nor inclusive.

That’s why Nelson (a former corporate litigator) and Peltola (a former social worker and mental health therapist) recently launched The Riveter (Capitol Hill, 1517 12th Ave., Suite 101; 206.486.5793), a coworking space for women that’s designed to foster collaboration and wellness. At The Riveter, the two women, who met in a Flywheel class, offer private workspaces, collaborative desks, a meditation room, a fitness studio and weekly talks and workshops by professional women. (Plus, there’s an on-site wine and Champagne cellar to toast your successes.)

Peltola’s original idea was to develop a holistic health space for women, but it evolved when Nelson suggested that it also include a place for women to do their work. “We want this to be a place that will amplify women’s voices—to encourage women to speak loudly, to fail, to ask questions and to build connections,” explains Nelson. It’s about community, the partners agree, and is welcoming to all gender identities.

The first location will accommodate about 160 members, but the partners have ambitious plans to expand to Bellevue later this year, and to 20 locations up and down the West Coast by 2021.

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