KUALA LUMPUR: Women now have their own dedicated co-working space in Malaysia in a bid to promote safe and child-friendly workplaces for female workers.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development minister Hannah Yeoh said the unique concept at HelloHERA Hub aims to create a safe working place for women, especially for mothers with young children.
“There will be many mothers who would want to use their skills to work, and at the same time, look after their kids.
“They would like a working space and not just work from home, this will be an ideal spot,” she said after the hub’s launch at its premises in QSentral on Thursday (Jan 17).
Yeoh added that employment was shifting towards becoming gig-based and more flexible, and the market must innovate to meet such demands.
Conducive working spaces for women would also help reduce incidences of child sexual abuse at unregistered childcare centres, she said.
Although ministry officers have combed the streets in Putrajaya for unregistered childcare service providers, she said, enforcement was challenging as there is still a high demand for childcare services.
Yeoh added that the women-only co-working space would provide a conducive and safe place for women in general, which is important especially in the wake of greater public awareness of sexual harassment.
“Comparing this time last year and now, there is definitely greater awareness today,” she said.
Founder Angie Chin said she was motivated to open a women-only co-working space when she found it difficult to find a suitable working area which was also child-friendly.
She recalled an incident two years ago when she had to leave her daughter in a lobby when she attended a meeting at another co-working space.
“I decided that I had had enough of this. Somebody needed to kickstart something, and inspire others to do something about this as well. Co-working spaces are not new, but they must breathe humanity,” she said.
Women could walk in to use the co-working space, Chin said, and pay according to use.
Users will be charged RM15 per hour or RM27 for the whole day, while weekly and monthly rates are RM196 and RM460, respectively.
She clarified that men were allowed into the co-working space for meetings or when they were working on special projects with women.
“However, we will give exclusivity and priority for women first,” she said.
Those interested to use the co-working space can email firstname.lastname@example.org.