The Sunday Times, 24.7.16:

PERTH’S first women-only co-working space opened this week to “close the gender gap”. Broadspace, located at Enterprise House in Wanneroo, was developed to upskill female students and get them ready to enter the job market-

Founder and UWA marketing tutor Mikayla Maricic said she opened the co-working space after numerous cries for help from her students.

“My students were constantly coming up to me, “saying they didn’t know what to do after uni,” the 25 year-old from Ocean Reef said.

“As soon as you graduate there’s no kind of support system from there, you’re on your own to find your own career.

“I wanted to focus on getting more women into leadership positions and senior roles.”

She said the job market for uni students was becoming “tougher and tougher.”

This week the Department of Education’s internet Vacancy Index confirmed West Australians have the toughest job market in the country.

The number of skilled jobs advertised online declined almost 13 per cent in the past year.

There were 13,231 jobs advertised during the 2015-16 financial year, compared with 15,180 the previous year.

Diversity and productivity researcher Conrad Liveris agreed there was a slowing job market for graduates.

“Universities and TAFEs are graduating students at record rates. but business can’t meet this need.” he said.

“Finding markets and starting your own business is part of the solution to this employment gap.”

Mr Leveris said workplaces should be inclusive and engaging.

“But in WA it’s primarily masculine, they promote male norms and stereotypes.

“This forces women into reflecting these norms and changing themselvs, which limits their potential.

“This comes at a substantial cost to the economy overall and limits the productivity of staff and potential of women to access senior roles alongside men.

Curtin journalism and public relations graduate Emily Davies became a member of Broadspace this week and is already reaping the benefits.

“It’s a great way to meet people and learn different things,” the 23-year-old from Victoria Park said.

”I’ve already been able to get a job through the people I’ve met at the Wanneroo Business Association.”

Other co-working spaces in the Perth CBD include Spacecubed, Bub-Desk and St. George Business Hub.