wing.jpg

How a women’s coworking space became a flashpoint for debates over feminism, money, and power.

By Anna North and Chavie Lieber  Feb 7, 2019, 7:00am ESTPhotographs by Amelia Holowaty Krales for Vox

SHARE

The Wing is an interior designer’s Instagram-perfect fantasy. 

The books on the walls are color-coded. The plants are lush. The bathrooms are stocked with luxury beauty products. On a recent visit to the SoHo location of the women’s club and coworking space, sunlight bathed millennial-pink furniture as, one floor below, construction finished on a childcare center.

To its founders, members, investors, and critics, though, the Wing is so much more than a pretty office. It’s a “safe, affirming professional network,” as Audrey Gelman, one of its co-founders, puts it. It is also a “workspace with community-building at its core,” according to Nicole Gibbons, a Wing member. 

The Wing has five locations in New York City, Brooklyn, the District of Columbia, and San Francisco, with more than 6,000 members. It offers events like “Prenup 101,” and invitations to intimate evenings with notables such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jennifer Lawrence. It hosts community discussions with titles like “Fuck Harvey Weinstein” and social gatherings like a Dominican Wing Women Happy Hour. It also promotes social activism, chartering buses to feminist rallies, and has had voter registration drives. 

The SoHo location feels like an oasis, with everything from the lactation room to the phone booths (named after fictional heroines like Ramona QuimbyHermione Granger, and Lisa Simpson) designed with women in mind — something sorely lacking in most workplaces.

Comment