Women’s Co-Working Space The Wing Has Changed Its Membership Policy To Include All Genders
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The Wing, the popular co-working space dedicated to women, has changed it’s membership rules to include all genders, Business Insider Reported.
In September, The Wing was sued for gender discrimination by 53-year old, James E. Pietrangelo, after he was allegedly told that his application into the co-working space would be denied “because he is a man.”
Pietrangelo is suing The Wing for possibly up to $12 million. The lawsuit is still ongoing; however, the company’s lawyers have responded to Pietrangelo’s claims stating that he is not committed to The Wing’s mission.
The company submitted Pietrangelo’s application responses in a subsequent filing where he stated, “I have always supported and advocated for the equality of all people” when asked how he has promoted and supported the advancement of women.
In March 2018, the New York Human Rights Commission began an investigation into The Wing, citing possible discriminatory membership practices. The investigation is still ongoing.
The Wing says the changes to its membership policy are from conversations with transgender and non-binary members, not because of the lawsuit brought forth by Pietrangelo, according to TechCrunch.
The company has gained national attention, grown to over 6,000 members worldwide, and raised $117.5 million in funding in the last two years. Now, the company has hit a few bumps in its journey with lawsuits and discrimination investigations, according to Insider.
In an internal letter sent to its members, co-founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan said that it has made internal updates and written membership policies to ensure that The Wing’s staff is trained not to make assumptions about someone’s identity based on how they present.
“With a growing number of members who identify as transgender or beyond the gender binary, we want to make sure that we are as inclusive a community as possible,” the letter said. “We’re committed to advancing a feminist ethos that is inclusive of those who align with our mission, including women and people of marginalized genders.”
In December, The Wing completed a $75 million Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital and other investors like Upfront Ventures, Airbnb and WeWork.
The Wing has plans to open new locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, and Paris in 2019.