Flew The Coup: Fighting Back Against Inequality in the Workplace.
After moving to New York City, I decided I would look into joining some sort of a co-working space. Let me tell you, living alone and working alone in a new city can be isolating so the concept of a co-working space sounded like the perfect fit. New York City has AMAZING co-working spaces, it was hard to narrow down to a few options. I finally came upon The Wing, a co-working space for women that was within close proximity to me, a beautiful space, and a good price to join. I made an appointment to go see it and asked in another Facebook group I was in if anyone was a member. The response I got back from people who heard about the Wing was super surprising.
A member of the Facebook group I was in shared an article called “The Wing is a Women’s Utopia. Unless You Work There”. This article was about the working conditions that people experienced form almost all the locations of The Wing. Audrey Gelman started The Wing four years ago and had stepped down in 2019 due to the controversy of the space and how it treated its workers. Workers were required to sign NDAs regarding the working conditions that they experienced.
I ended up doing a bit more research and came across an Instagram account called @flewthecoup. This is an Instagram account that is highlighting what former staff and members experienced at The Wing and they are sharing their progress of asking for repercussions from The Wing. The Instagram account has over 7,000 followers and has people sharing their experiences and stories from experiencing racism to just not being a welcomed member of The Wing to the point of being forced out of the space. The Facebook group demands action from The Wing and most recently shared that their Flew The Coup grant Program was officially funded, paid out and closed for former staff of The Wing. They were able to pay out over $40,000 to dozens of BIPOC women who were harmed during their employment at The Wing.
In a recent article by Fortune, it was shared that Flew The Coup demanded Audrey Gelman to step down as the CEO and apologize that the culture she created was harmful to the employees of The Wing. Audrey Gelman did apologize, step down and shared “I am the former CEO of The Wing and I support Flew the Coup”. You can see that she still follows the Instagram account, Flew The Coup, on her personal Instagram.
It is so impressive to me that this group of women went and created a whole Instagram account demanding repercussions from the company. Not only did they demand a response, they actually got it from the company. From their Instagram account, it is also is obvious that they are not done with their mission and will continue to fight for women who have previously worked at The Wing.
Overall, this obviously opened my eyes to issues with this co-working space and I do not intend to join it until they have fully responded and addressed all the issues they have caused. They have replaced their CEO, but it is clear that have a lot more work to do to fix the wrongs they’ve caused. One of the first things you see on their website is a culture code asking for the respect of their members and employees. Hopefully this code is something they will be able to focus on as they continue to rebuild their company.
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The Wing Is a Women's Utopia. Unless You Work There. (Published 2020)
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