About – Audrey Gelman
Audrey Gelman is a name that is becoming increasingly familiar in the world of business and entrepreneurship. As a co-founder and former CEO of the women’s coworking space The Wing, Gelman has made waves in the industry and become an inspiration to many.
Born in 1987 in New York City, Gelman grew up in a politically active family. Her father was a Democratic strategist and her mother was an assistant commissioner in the city’s Department of Health. Audrey Gelman attended Dalton School, a prestigious private school in Manhattan, before going on to study at Oberlin College in Ohio.
After graduating from college, Gelman moved back to New York City and worked in various roles in the media and political spheres. She worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and later worked as a press aide for the New York City comptroller’s office.
In 2014, Audrey Gelman and her friend Lauren Kassan came up with the idea for The Wing, a women’s coworking and community space. The idea was to create a space where women could work, network, and support each other in a comfortable and empowering environment. They launched their first location in New York City in 2016, and the company quickly gained popularity and expanded to other cities across the United States.
As CEO of The Wing, Audrey Gelman became a prominent figure in the business world and a role model for young women entrepreneurs. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2016 and was featured on the cover of Inc. magazine in 2018.
However, Gelman’s time at The Wing was not without controversy. In 2019, employees staged a walkout to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims and lack of diversity and inclusivity. Audrey Gelman publicly apologized and made changes to the company’s policies and leadership team, but ultimately stepped down as CEO later that year.
What’s the news?
It was revealed today that Audrey Gelman, the troubled cofounder and CEO of the women’s co-working space known as the Wing, will be leaving her position. Gelman said in an email to the corporation that he believes this to be “the best course of action for the organization.”
The Wing, which achieved it-business status in fewer than four years by marketing itself as a sparkly guys’ club for ladies, has had a difficult spring as a result of this posture. The Wing reported a loss of 95% of its revenues when the pandemic made it unwise to share indoor space. As a result, the Wing closed its 11 sites and in April laid off or furloughed the majority of its 475 staff members.
Before the pandemic, the Wing had already secured over one hundred million dollars in funding from investors such as Sequoia Capital. Despite this success, the company had to contend with a number of growing pains and negative press, such as a debate regarding whether or not male customers should be permitted, racial tensions, and inadequate management of employee benefits such as maternity leave. In February, Gelman apologized for her actions in a post that she wrote for Fast Company.
In the wake of George Floyd’s passing and the subsequent reexamination of discriminatory workplace cultures at many organizations, criticism of the Wing has resurfaced, with some Twitter threads from former employees going viral this week. The reexamination of discriminatory workplace cultures has been prompted by Floyd’s death.
The Wing issued a statement confirming Gelman’s departure and stating that in the short term, her position will be filled by a “office of the CEO,” which will be staffed by the senior vice president of marketing and communications Celestine Maddy, the cofounder and chief operating officer Lauren Kassan, and the senior vice president for operations Ashley Peterson. The Wing also said that Gelman’s position will be filled by a “office of the CEO” in the long term.
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