With a valuation of $200 million and over $100 million in venture capital funding, it is safe to say that The Wing has made a name for itself in the coworking industry.
Last month, a coalition of 750 current and former Wing members came together to discuss the treatment of Black and brown employees. This week, 41 of those members sent a letter to the company’s board of directors requesting that Audrey Gelman, who recently stepped down as CEO, be removed from the firm’s board and sell her 10% stake in the company. The letter also demanded for co-founder Lauren Kassan to step down as chief operating officer and for the company to completely overhaul its operations.
Gelman resigned last month after 67 headquarters employees took part in a digital walkout, and members have been inspired to do more since.
“I was embarrassed to be a member,” said Bianca Maxwell, a startup founder who joined the Wing’s Boston location last year and created the Slack channel. “To read stories of what young women had to endure behind the scenes while the rest of us were sitting on pink couches—it was upsetting and made me feel complicit… Me being a young, Black woman who’s a paying member of a space that has harmed who could pretty much be my little sisters—why wouldn’t I advocate for them?”
In addition to demanding a major change in the company’s leadership, the letter also asked that any LGBTQIA+ members or members of color who seek refunds be granted them.