The Coven, an inclusive co-working space for women and others, plans expansion to Des Moines

Published by Nicole Grundmeier on

Photo by Bethany Birnie, courtesy of the Coven  

While some companies are requiring employees to return to the office post-pandemic, some workers, and even their bosses, are pushing back.

The push and pull is especially challenging for workers who benefitted the most from work-from-home models – women, caretakers, those with chronic illnesses, the LGBTQ community and members of other vulnerable groups.

A company from the Twin Cities believes it has a solution: What would it be like if you could show up to work as your whole self? What would it be like to have women connecting with one another? What would it look like to have a trans-inclusive women’s space?

Photo by Bethany Birnie, courtesy of the Coven  

“This is the manifestation of that,” said Alex Steinman, one of the Coven’s co-founders and partners. “And so we really thought about, what would it look like if women could work, learn and play together and have a space that was really, truly built for them?”

The Coven is a network of inclusive co-working spaces. It has five locations in the Midwest but none in Iowa. Its owners are planning to expand into Des Moines in 2024. They’re looking for franchisees in Central Iowa and hope to open a location sometime this year.

“When we look at Des Moines, we’re looking for a community owner who is really a part of the community and knows the types of services and resources that that area or that market is going to need,” Steinman said.

The Coven was founded in 2017 by four women who’d met while working in the advertising industry. The Coven has two co-working spaces in Minneapolis, one in St. Paul, Minn., one in Eau Claire, Wis., and one opening soon in St. Louis Park, Minn.

The Coven’s research has shown that when workers feel safe – both physically and psychologically – they’re more productive and more willing to take risks, Steinman said.

“We know that when folks feel safe, they feel like they don’t have to hide themselves, that they have the ability to take bigger risks, like starting a business or leading a team or going for a new career opportunity. And that’s really what the Coven is all about. Our mission is around economic empowerment for women, nonbinary and trans people, so giving people that type of space where they feel comfortable in their own skin gives them the opportunity to take the leap,” Steinman said.

Men are welcome to work in the Coven’s spaces as allies.

“We have lots of male members who’ve joined as co-working members and have really enjoyed the space because it does center on belonging, because it does have amenities that they haven’t seen before in co-working. Something that’s really important to us is that men are part of the solution as well,” Steinman said.

Everything about the co-working spaces centers on belonging and including, she said.

“When we look at the types of things that we bring into the space from a design perspective, we think about the art on our walls being curated from community members that are local to this community. We think of size-inclusive furniture that fits all body types. We think of accessibility and making sure neurodiversity is a part of our considerations for colors and sound.”

A price list for membership is available here.