Many women have trouble stepping into male dominated spaces. It is not easy to be the only woman in a room full of men or a field that has been particularly dominated by men historically. It would be nice if we could live in a world where men and women could also be mingled without the fear of exclusion or discrimination, but unfortunately we have not evolved as a society to that point of consciousness yet. In the meantime, many organizations have been making an effort to incorporate “women’s only” spaces so women can feel comfortable and hopefully be able to receive similar opportunities as men. For example, we have “women only” areas in the gym. Gyms have typically been dominated by the male population, so women can often feel inadequate when working out around men, so a solution to that problem was incorporating a women’s only area.
Not only do women’s only spaces allow women to feel more comfortable, these spaces may also be specifically tailored to women’s experiences. Specifically in courses, creators should be able to identify issues and strategies that are targeted for women. Women experience different barriers compared to men and could benefit from having being a part of a course that recognizes these discrepancies. For example, more often than not, women suffer from a lack of self-confidence and potentially deal with imposter syndrome. Historically, patriarchy has caused women to feel inadequate and incompetent and these issues have moved from generation to generation. A women’s only course could focus on building and repairing self-confidence and help women find their power. During this type of topic, women most likely will be able to best build connections with other women on this topic.
The best type of courses are interactive because they promote communication, collaboration, and it allows students to gain more insights from the instructor and their peers. Having a women’s only course can ensure participants are that much more willing to communicate and interact with one another. Many times co-ed courses will cause women to float into the background and avoid reaching out to others. Although this is something women and men need to improve on, certain topics are better to be discussed in the same gender groups and then could potentially move on to co-ed discussions and courses.
As we have begun to realize in more recent years, representation is essential for the success of younger and all generations. Having women-only courses, can ensure women have access to a successful and powerful female role model. Either through guest speakers or the actual instructor of the course, women can use role models to feel inspired and ask questions that they typically would not have the opportunity to ask. This will help women see themselves in similar roles that are being presented to them. It is impossible to imagine yourself as a boss, leader, entrepreneur, engineer, doctor, lawyer, or any other professional without ever seeing someone who looks like you in that position. Having a female lead course, can ensure these women have a role model to look up to.
Men have always been the standard and women continuously are kicking as hard as they can to stay above the surface before they finally give up. Courses are typically designed with the male perspective in mind and that disregards problems that women face. To finally create an even playing field, women’s only courses can be implemented to make sure women are receiving the same opportunities as men. Hopefully one day we can be at a place where women-only courses will not be necessary, but this is not our current reality.