The Wing, the once lively coworking community for women, has closed its doors


The six-year-old startup, which had raised more than $100 million in funding to build its network of physical spaces that were intended to look and feel like feminist utopias, said its six remaining spaces are closed for good.

At its peak, the company had nearly a dozen locations. Its first location outside the US opened in London in the fall of 2019, just months before the pandemic halted use of its members-only spaces.

According to an automated email response from one of its New York City locations, the company “has arranged for the International Workplace Group, or IWG, to meet workspace and membership needs.” In February 2021, the flexible workspace giant, with a network of 1,000 US locations, acquired a majority stake in The Wing following the many months stirring

After temporarily closing its physical locations in response to the pandemic, The Wing had only six locations open: in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, IWG confirmed to CNN Business on Wednesday.

“The members of The Wing were not using the six existing downtown locations, and instead wanted access to centers in suburban locations, closer to where they live,” IWG founder and CEO Mark Dixon said in a statement. statement, referring to what it said is a “shift in demand to flexible workspaces closer to employees’ homes.”

“As a result, the six existing downtown centers were closed and members had access to the same facilities, services and events in a much larger number of locations through the IWG network,” said Dixon.

But it’s not clear if it will have the same… vibes.

The wings Design and decoration it was iconic, from its color-coded bookshelves to its palette of pastel-hued furniture and jewelry, and its meeting rooms that celebrated notable women, like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the professor best known for publicly accusing the now-judge of Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh for sexual assault. (When asked what might become of The Wing’s furniture, IWG said it didn’t have any details to share at this time.)
The Wing once hosted events with women ranging from Nancy Pelosi to a panel of sex workers, it posted. a magazine called “No Man’s Land” and merchandise sold with slogans like “Girls doing whatever they want”.
Launched in 2016 by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, The Wing came about at the very moment it looked like Americans might have elected the first female president, Hilary Clinton, and it was the place where some women gathered, in anticipation, to celebrate that. She leaned heavily into creating a safe and empowering space for women at a time when the #MeToo movement was drawing incredible attention.

The company had raised $167 million from investors including WeWork Airbnb, and venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates, according to Pitchbook data.

But ultimately, the founders’ vision didn’t work out. As the nation more broadly recognized systemic inequality issues in 2020, the company grappled with complaints that the reality lived of members and workers did not reflect its mission of inclusion. Gelman, its CEO and the face of the company, Bass. Meanwhile, the company has also been challenged by the impacts of the pandemic on its business.

The Wing, in February, had promoted its chief marketing officer, Jen Cho, to take over as CEO and run the company. Cho left The Wing in July after just five months at the helm.


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