Jacqueline Lawrence

A woman sits at a desk, typing on a tablet while the sun shines through a window in front of her.
Photo by Maria Iqbal

Women’s co-working spaces have been popping up in Toronto in recent years. Shecosystem is one of them, which opened at the end of 2016. While the space doesn’t exclude men, its focus is on promoting feminism and holistic values.

I joined Shecosystem at the end of November 2017. I’ve been a consultant since 2004, helping mostly non-profits with management consulting. I was in a consultant partnership with another woman, both of us working primarily out of our homes or with clients in their spaces. My partner retired a few years ago, so I’ve been working on my own since then and considered co-working spaces, but never joined one until I joined this space.

I had looked into co-working spaces before, even when a different organization was running this space as a co-working space, but never came down and looked. When I was looking again more recently, I decided to come in and take a look around. I liked it and it’s not too far from home, so I decided to join.

The feminine values speak to me. I like the opening circle and the closing circle even though I don’t always participate. I like the community here. I get a sense that people are on very authentic journeys and you don’t find that in every space. My impression of the members here is that they are seeking to live lives that are an expression of who they are as opposed to trying to fit themselves into a particular box.

My perspective on women-centred spaces—because this is not a women-only space—is that it’s all about context and it’s all about choice. When the decision to be in a women-centred space is coming from women as a voluntary choice, it’s very different than when a women-centred space is created externally and thrust upon women. Those are two very, very different things, and having the freedom to have a women-centred space is different than being compelled to be in a women-centred space. You can’t compare the two.

Jacqueline Lawrence
Owner of WiseSolution Consulting
Shecosystem Member

This interview was edited for length and clarity.