One Roof is a co-working space dedicated to women and women-led businesses. According to founder Sheree Rubinstein, the name One Roof embodies the idea that they provide everything a female entrepreneur needs to thrive under one roof.
“I used to work as corporate lawyer in top tier law firm and I realised that wasn’t my calling. I also became aware of the challenges as a woman in the corporate world and I became aware of gender equality in the workplace. That ignited this passion in me to support women to see them thrive and succeed,” Sheree said.
Sheree had the courage to quit her career in law. She was introduced to the woman who became her co-founder, Gianna Wurzl, and together One Roof became a reality.
“We were running networking events to support women, and we were both asking, ‘What holds women back? What can we do to create genuine change in this space and close the gender gap in business?’ So, we ran focus groups and pulled together women entrepreneurs and asked them what is holding them back. That way, the concept of One Roof was born as women wanted a place to go so they could easily access community support and mentors.”
The One Roof co-founders had tested their idea by running a one week pop-up at an Airbnb home – a two-storey mansion in St Kilda.
“We converted the house into a co-working house for a week and we really designed it so we had a full program for the week: meditation in the morning, brainstorming in the afternoon with different experts, and events every evening,” Sheree said.
“We turned the bedroom into a meeting room, the lounge room was for hot desking, and we had 400 people in a week. Some stayed for a day, some stayed for just one event. We also got sponsorship from NAB and they ran workshops, for us. The feedback was so positive, we knew it was something people wanted.”
Today One Roof is Australia’s leading co-working space dedicated to women-led business. This means businesses with a female founder, cofounder, CEO and / or has a core value of gender equality or promoting women.
In April 2016 One Roof settled into its new home in Southbank. Thanks to the support of Central Equity and Optus, One Roof occupies over 1000sqm of space, and home to 73 businesses across a range of industries including tech, gaming, fashion, finance, health, wellness, education and recruitment.
With a large event space that can accommodate up to 300 people, One Roof has positioned itself as the go-to for all events focused on women in entrepreneurs, leadership and business.
The best advice Sheree can give other women is ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’
“That’s the one thing I find myself always coming back to and talking to women about feeling that fear but going ahead, regardless. Women often feel that things need to be perfect before they test an idea. That’s because the feeling of failure can be so paralysing,” Sheree said.
“Successful people feel the fear and still do it, and that’s a very empowering thing to realise. I think as entrepreneurs it’s important to push through the fear and the feeling that you need to put your idea out there, you need feedback even if feedback is negative. That’s what will ensure that you create something that people actually want, even though it’s a scary thing to do. You really put yourself out there.”
Sheree feels she has really shaken her career with One Roof and she advises women to do what it takes to achieve your goals and build a strong network.
“It’s so important to build a strong network. Women, throughout history, have been left out of networks that can really create impact for your business and your career. Make sure you ask for help, ask for feedback and surround yourself with people who’ll give you that support. All the opportunities that have come to me have come through me putting emphasis on building networks and surrounding myself with the right people.”
One Roof is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm daily in Southbank, with business problem solving, guest speakers, educational classes, 1:1 business coaching, networking events, yoga and meditation.