Targeting ambitious ‘queen bees,’ women’s working space opens in Philly

A new working space opened at Second and Race streets in Philadelphia’s Old City this week. But this is not another boy’s club – The Hive is for women only.

Founder Melissa Alam said the project is a brick and mortar answer to online communities of women  she found through her online magazine, Femme and Fortune.

“I’ve really found an awesome market of women here in Philadelphia and nationally that need the support and resources of one another,” said Alam.

Alam said she hopes the space will create opportunities for mentorship and collaboration between women. Her own mentor in the public relations field, Antoinette Johnson, helped her secure a location for the project.

Alam will be using the space for her work as a brand consultant and photographer. Other entrepreneurs at The Hive include a company making athletic wear for female triathletes, an auto mechanic and a freelance journalist.

Several women attending the opening noted that the barriers to entry for women in certain careers paths – such as starting your own business – can be high.

“I think it comes from the whole being raised to be a good girl thing,” said journalist and communications consultant Rosella LaFevre. Girls are encouraged to take a secure path from college to a full-time job, as opposed to working from contract-to-contract for themselves, she said.

For that reason, attendee Elliott Griffin, director of communications in City Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ office, said working with other women is important.

“I think sometimes women are just very hesitant to take the leap,” she said.

In politics, that could mean “being asked seven times to run to do it. Whereas a man will just wake up and say, ‘President? That sounds cool’.”

So far, nine entrepreneurs have joined The Hive.

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