Coworking Influencer

Tiffany White empowers coworking spaces through equity and inclusion

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Tiffany White's journey into the world of coworking began about four and a half years ago when she took over the leadership of a single, mission-driven coworking space in Bend, Oregon. With a background in public health and nonprofit work, Tiffany was passionate about supporting stigmatized and marginalized communities. 

Tiffany white headshot smallThe coworking space she inherited had lofty goals around gender parity and inclusivity, but Tiffany quickly realized these values weren't being fully actualized. "The coworking business had a mission, but it wasn't being fully realized," Tiffany recalled. "And part of my passion has always been partnering with the BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ and other historically marginalized communities."

Tiffany set out to walk the walk on inclusivity, building programs and policies that created real opportunities for individuals and groups that have been historically marginalized. Over her four years of hands-on coworking experience, Tiffany developed a wealth of expertise, from operations and finance to marketing and sales.

Sage Consulting launches help to elevate the industry

It was this diverse set of skills and experiences that led White to launch her own consulting practice, Sage Consulting. With a soft launch of the website mere days before departing for a major industry event, White has hit the ground running.

White’s vision for Sage is to become known as a thought leader and subject matter expert in the realm of equity and inclusion within the coworking industry. "The niche project I'm working on in the consulting industry, and what I want Sage to be known for, is building  coworking spaces that utilize programs and policies to create opportunities for individuals and groups that have been historically marginalized," she explained. Sage is currently developing a Coworking Equity and Inclusion Toolkit to provide a tangible resource including policies, assets and programs focused on equity and inclusion.

Tackling the operational gaps

While Tiffany's passion lies in advancing equity and inclusion, she recognizes the importance of supporting coworking operators with the more nuts-and-bolts aspects of running a successful space. "I think my strong suit and expertise is really looking holistically at the big picture and identifying the gaps, and then moving in and addressing those pieces," she said.

Tiffany has deep experience in areas like financial forecasting, budgeting, and systems development — aspects that she believes are often overlooked by coworking startups. "I think for a lot of people, the financial piece is a bit of an afterthought," she noted. "Definitely from the staffing, onboarding, and culture-building of a community, that's another area where I can just lean into my experience."

Cultivating authentic community connection

But at the heart of Tiffany's work is an unwavering focus on building genuine, inclusive communities. She's seen firsthand how a mission-driven, programmatically-rich coworking space can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty among members.

"There was so much more at stake in staying with a space that had a heartbeat to it," Tiffany recalled of her previous coworking endeavor. "It affected the whole member community and member retention, and it really influenced the way the community saw the space." 

Tiffany believes this community-centric approach is a key differentiator for successful coworking operators — and a gap she's passionate about helping others fill. "There's so much you can be doing beyond just running a straightforward coworking business," she emphasized.

Partnering with Coworks: a shared vision

Tiffany's vision for Sage Consulting aligns closely with Coworks' own community-driven ethos. In a recent conversation with Coworks' marketing leader, Lauren Walker, the two quickly discovered a shared enthusiasm for elevating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry.

"I think that's where we compete," Walker shared. "Technologically, we can stand up against everyone, but when it comes to being community-first, we really excel."

The two also discussed the BIPOC Coworking Alliance, an initiative White is eager to explore potential partnerships around. "I think there's great collaboration potential between us as thought leaders, being able to develop our businesses and have an influence on the industry," Tiffany enthused.

Looking ahead: Sage's equity-focused future

As White continues to build out Sage Consulting, her goal is for equity and inclusion work to ultimately comprise the majority of the practice's focus. However, she recognizes the importance of supporting coworking operators with the operational fundamentals in the near and far term.

"My hope is that the agency continues to grow in partnership with lots of different coworking spaces, and the more people we have aligning to move forward together, the more equity and inclusion can become a standard of practice."

With her unique blend of hands-on coworking experience, public health expertise, and genuine passion for creating transformative change, Tiffany White is poised to make a significant impact on the coworking industry. By empowering operators to build truly inclusive, community-driven spaces, Sage Consulting is well on its way to elevating the coworking landscape.

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