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Huckletree Shoreditch: Ultimate Girl Crew

BY Emily PrichardDecember 13, 2018

Women in Tech At London Coworking Space

Ever gazed up at the Alphabeta building on Finsbury Square? Behind that iconic veneer lies Huckletree Shoreditch. Venture inside and you’ll find our renegade bunch of startups, scaleups, global brands, and our pretty awesome community team – with a bit of a difference.

General Manager Jax Orchard is the Air Max-wearing, gin-toting, spreadsheet-nailing head honcho – and the captain of an accidentally all-girl crew…

Our Membership Manager Blaize is a Canadian firecracker with a ninja-esque ability to connect members who need to get know each other.

Operations Manager Juliette combines an insane eye for detail with a not just can-do but already-done-it attitude.

Events Manager Enrica juggles hackathons, meetups and members’ drinks at the same time without breaking a sweat.

Front of House star Christina delivers the ultimate welcome, goodbye and is an essential port of call for every person drawn like a moth to the giant neon sign at reception.

Finally, Community Assistant Julia handles frankly, anything and everything that’s thrown at her – including crafting a giant Gameboy out of cardboard for their ‘90s Christmas party.

Call it fate, call it a happy accident, but our all-female squad is killing it. Here’s just one of the reasons why…

 

GIRL POWER

Pre-Huckletree, Jax spent many years working in finance on Wall Street – before a revelation left her questioning her place:

“I discovered that I was a victim of pay inequality, which I was naive to despite being aware of the stats. I was heartbroken – it made me feel really disillusioned.”

Ready for a change and drawn to the community-focused world of coworking, Jax returned to London and joined the Huckletree Shoreditch crew as Membership Manager. Two years later, she’s bringing her unique touch to running the show.

Jax is dedicated to empowering her team to grow, boss their roles and be all-round awesome. Part of that comes down to reflecting our value: ‘Be Renegade’. As the very visible stars tasked with keeping our members’ daily life running smoothly, she’s making sure each of our team thinks fast, acts faster and is prepared to fail (now and again!).

Reflecting on her experiences in NYC, Jax is determined to build a solid support network:
“Something I noticed as a female working in finance, which is a very male-dominated environment, was that my male peers never had to keep explaining themselves. They’d bring their recommendation, give their rationale for a project and it would be widely accepted. I’d come to the table equipped with the same things and have to repeatedly explain and justify it.”

In the Huckletree Shoreditch team office, she’s made sure every single person has an equal opportunity to contribute:

 

“I tell my team, ‘don’t come to me with a question – come to me with a solution’. Even if their solution is not the right one, I want to them to feel empowered to be able to suggest it.”


You can probably tell that we’re pretty proud of our Shoreditch team. Each of them lives and breathes community and now they’re part of a pioneering initiative to make London safer for everybody.

 

WHOSE STREETS? OUR STREETS

A national survey revealed that 85% of women have experienced sexual harassment in public, with over 90% of sexual harassment and assault on public transport going unreported. This has to change – and we can all be part of the movement.

Female-founded startup, Safe and The City, is taking a stand. Founder Jillian Kowalchuk bossed it last year on the third cohort of our accelerator, the Alpha Programme. She’s been making waves (and headlines) ever since.

A street-smart navigation app, SATC crowdsources user and crime data to give you a clearer picture about the best route to your destination, beyond simply the fastest way to get around.

Made to feel uncomfortable on certain paths? Report an incident. Live on a well-lit street? Rate it. Need to get hold of a loved one or the police? Make an SOS call.

Unsurprisingly, the public response to Safe And The City has been pretty enthusiastic. Last week, the team smashed their crowdfunding target at 102% overfunded, securing £15,350 in 33 days. The raise will help Safe and The City expand beyond London, with Edinburgh and Glasgow due to launch next year.

 

SAFE AND THE CITY

Part of the genius of Safe And The City is that it’s not just down to individual users to make change.

When Jillian asked Huckletree Shoreditch to take part in their Safe Site initiative for businesses, it was an easy decision for the whole team. As a Safe Site, our East London workspace is now identifiable by users of the app as a location where they can find support in emergency situations. As Jax says:

“The amazing thing about Huckletree is that, at the heart of it, we’re a physical space. If someone is walking past and feels uncomfortable or something bad happens outside on the street, they can check the app and find us. They can come into our reception, get a glass of water, recharge their phone or take a quiet moment in a private room.

It’s really important to us to be engaged in the local community beyond our walls. All businesses in Shoreditch and London should be doing it.”

Being a Safe Site isn’t just about offering a safe haven for our local community. The initiative also ensures all businesses who sign up are empowered to tackle the wider issue of harassment in the workplace:

“Jillian wants to make sure that all the Safe Sites are educated about sexual harassment, particularly in the workplace. Safe In the City, in partnership with the Met Police, came in and trained our Shoreditch team on what to look out for. If we see something untoward in our community, we’re now able to spot it and act on it.”

 

SUPPORT YOUR CREW

One of the best parts of curating such talented, vibrant communities is the opportunity to collaborate with our members. From designing our website to creating content (shout out to member Tom Joy for our crew photo at the top of this piece!), there’s nothing better than harnessing the skills of our community. Jax summed up our excitement and pride at being able to support Jillian as she charges on with her mission:

“What Jillian’s doing is socially conscious and empowering. She’s changing our daily lives with her incredible app – and on top of all that, she’s an incredible female founder.”

Download the app, get contributing and join us in helping make London safer for everyone.

The time is now.

Want to be part of our East London community? Take a tour and discover our Private Studio and Resident Desks, right in the heart of Shoreditch. Let’s chat

AUTHOR

Emily Prichard

Brand and Content Manager