The Wing touts wellness and female empowerment—but at what cost?
Rainbow sherbert hues meet trendy mid-century design in a network of coworking spaces so pretty Jackie Onassis would wear them. The Wing, which premiered in 2016 and has since amassed 10 locations from New York to London, was designed for (and founded by) women to gather and grow, socially and professionally, especially now in a post-#MeToo era.
Its 11,000 members enjoy Instagrammable workspaces decked out with custom-designed furniture tailored to female frames; private phone booths named after trailblazers—both real and fictional—think Anita Hill and Ramona Quimby; fully stocked pump rooms; and digitized lending libraries where floor-to-ceiling bookshelves harbor candy-color-coded tomes. Each location offers a monthly calendar of wellness offerings such as yoga and Pilates classes. “So much of the experience surrounding fitness is rooted in community,” says the Wing cofounder and COO Lauren Kassan. “Adding a space where members can exercise, feel empowered by one another, or even just take a break from the busy workday was an important opportunity for us.”
But is This Coworking Space Accessible?
Creating a modern-day Old Boys’ Club for women isn’t without its problems. Despite the network’s message of female empowerment, critics balk at its $215-per-month price tag, a membership fee that’s more exclusive than inclusive for many. In response, the Wing launched a scholarship program in 2018 to provide free memberships to a small percentage of applicants from underrepresented groups—specifically those whose work fosters community and industry in their cities.
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