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Maria Galindo, Chief Revenue Officer at Co-Madre, began her career in the world of finance. Before long she began to specialize in wellness, both in a corporate environment and through different government programs,including bringing yoga to women’s prisons in Mexico City. Against this backdrop she met Paola who had long been thinking about creating a coworking space for working mothers. Maria met Paola, a mom and a public relations specialist who had rented a house with two friends to start a workspace. When Maria joined the project it was becoming clear that an initiative like this was in sufficient demand.
This is how Co-Madre was born; a coworking and community focused on women being able to develop professionally and personally in a balanced way. Just a year ago they opened their doors in the Lomas de Chapultepec in Mexico City.
Regarding their gender policy, Maria is very clear: “Co-Madre is an inclusive community, we don’t make distinctions but, just as there are coworking spaces that create clearly masculine interiors, our spaces are feminine and make women feel more comfortable because the space has been designed for us.”
In addition to the standard coworking services, Maria tells us that we can find “services focused on women such as a beauty salon, healthy food restaurant, or a playroom for children up to 3 years in which two teachers work.” Co-Madre’s goal is help women not to interrupt their professional activity after being mothers: “we want to offer them an alternative to avoid being forced to choose.”Following this unity of purpose, they offer a series of courses offered by members of the community or external who rent the space to offer training related to finance, marketing, wellness, motherhood, etc…
Co-Madre is located in a mixed corporate and residential neighborhood. This kind of environment has some obvious and not-so-obvious effects on their client base. Their first space (600m2) saw its size doubled to 1200m2 just a few months ago, and in November they will open a similarly-sized second location in La Condesa. I think that this new space will put María and Paola to the test: normally opening a second location is the biggest challenge for a coworking manager, but in this case the new space is located in which I would dare to define as the cool (recently gentrified) Mexico City neighborhood.
María told us how in her first space they generally encountered entrepreneurs looking for a private office, commuting by foot or by car. In La Condesa they will probably meet a different audience, with somewhat different customs and needs.
After talking with Pamela or Ana and Marisse from Mia Co-growing(with whom they have a good personal and professional relationship), we were curious to know Maria’s point of view on female entrepreneurship: “Women see their entrepreneurship stopped by personal issues and they find it difficult to find a way to continue their undertakings,” because, Maria recognizes “in Mexico, parenting continues to weigh more on women. We still have to make it a shared responsibility as I think it should be.”
Another issue that we wanted to ask was how she saw the future of these spaces. “The next step is for women: we are in fashion. More and more coworking spaces are going to be opened and corporate policies will evolve to include all a series of benefits designed for women.”
We are always curious to know more about the people we talk to, and in this case we asked Maria to tell us something that surprises her. “I am surprised by women. I am surprised that the large number of things they do. I am especially surprised at how they push to do great things instead of being content with small things, of constantly looking for opportunities” on the other hand, he adds Maria, “I’m also surprised by millennials, I think they really want to make a change in society.”
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