Ruby Offers Communal Work Space For Women

OPINION
By Caille Millner
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In addition to the usual wine-tasting nights, events at Ruby’s include community organizing workshops and nights to organize care packages for homeless women. The library is stocked with fiction and poetry from female authors; there’s also a residency program for artists.

San Francisco Chronicle

Women of the Bay Area!

Are you tired of obnoxious male-dominated meetings, social clubs and restaurants?

Frustrated by the guys trading cryptocurrency at the coffee shop, the ones who won’t use their indoor voices?

Had enough of being asked to represent your company at every conference and legal meeting, so it can pretend it has a diverse workforce?

Let me introduce you to the Ruby.

The Ruby opened its doors Jan. 22 in a space near 24th and Bryant streets in the Mission District. It is a “work and gathering” space for women (including trans women and nonbinary individuals). Despite this 2018-era description, in many ways the Ruby harks back to a slightly earlier era in San Francisco.

Which era?

Well, before the city’s ideal of communal space was a WeWork center.

The Ruby isn’t funded by venture capitalists or outside investors. The space runs on member dues and their sweat equity — the founding members imagined, painted and decorated the 3,800-square-foot space themselves.

In addition to the usual wine-tasting nights, the Ruby’s events include community organizing workshops and nights to organize care packages for homeless women. The library is stocked with fiction and poetry from female authors; there’s also a residency program for artists.

“I’m really not interested in running a conventional business,” said Rachel Khong, the Ruby’s 32-year-old founder.

“It’s not a place for people to simply show up and consume Wi-Fi. Joining us means contributing to our community and being engaged in the larger community.”

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