Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Wing, the once-buzzy women’s coworking community, has closed its doors


Top business news

University of Michigan economics professor Justin Wolfers explains what Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell meant in his comments about the state of inflation and the US economy.

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At the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, chairman Jerome Powell addressed the central bank’s commitment to controlling inflation. CNN’s Rahel Solomon reports.

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CNN’s Allison Morrow explains to “Nightcap’s” Jon Sarlin why the term “quiet quitting” is about setting workplace boundaries, not about actually quitting your job. For more, watch the full Nightcap episode here.

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Hold the mustard … hot dog-flavored ice pop really does taste like a wiener. CNN’s Jeanne Moos chows down.

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CNN’s Christine Romans reviews President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

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Former Twitter Head of Security Peiter “Mudge” Zatko says the company has major security vulnerabilities that threaten national security. In an exclusive video interview, he tells CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan why he’s coming forward as a whistleblower.

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With the current pause on student loans expiring at the end of the month, the White House is weighing cancelling up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower who makes under $125,000. Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, explains how canceling student debt could counteract the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Page West, a former engineering consultant, discusses with CNN’s Michael Smerconish why she “quiet quit” her corporate job.

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A software CEO is asking Tesla to ban their ‘self-driving’ feature until they can prove the software will detect children. In defense of the company, some Tesla enthusiasts used their children as props to show that the feature really works. CNN’s Jake Tapper reports.

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At DEF CON in Las Vegas, hackers took apart voting machines to test vulnerabilities. They tell CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan conspiracy theories, not software, are the biggest threats to democracy.

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A growing number of Americans are crossing the southern border and making Mexico their new home. CNN’s David Culver takes a look at the cause and effect of Americans settling in Mexico City.

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President Joe Biden signed the $750 billion health care, tax and climate bill into law. CNN Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans breaks down what’s in the Inflation Reduction Act.

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During the pandemic, Netflix’s stock skyrocketed off of superb subscriber growth. Now that the market cap has fallen along with subscriptions, is Wall Street to blame for never quite understanding what it was investing in?

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CNN  — 

The Wing, the once-buzzy social club and luxury coworking community geared towards women, has shuttered all of its remaining locations.

The six-year-old startup, which had raised more than $100 million in funding towards building out its network of physical spaces that were intended to look and feel like feminist utopias, said its six remaining spaces are closed for good.

At its height, the company had nearly a dozen locations. Its first location outside the US opened in London in the fall of 2019, mere months before the pandemic would halt use of its members-only spaces.

According to an automated email response from one of its New York City locations, the company has “arranged for workspace and membership needs to be fulfilled” by the International Workplace Group, or IWG. In February 2021, the flexible workspace behemoth, with a network of 1,000 US locations, acquired a majority stake in The Wing following the many months of turmoil.

After temporarily shuttering its physical locations in response to the pandemic, The Wing had just six locations open – in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, IWG confirmed to CNN Business Wednesday.

“Members of The Wing were not using the existing six downtown locations and instead wanted access to centers in suburban locations, closer to where they live,” IWG founder and CEO Mark Dixon said in a statement, referring to what he said is a “shift in demand to flexible workspaces nearer to employees’ homes.”

“As a result, the existing six downtown centers were closed and members were provided with access to all of the same facilities, services and events in a far greater number of locations via IWG’s network,” Dixon said.

But it is unclear if it will have the same… vibes.

The Wing’s design and decor was iconic – from its color-coded bookshelves to its jewel-toned and pastel palette of furniture, and its meeting rooms that celebrated notable women, like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the professor best known for publicly accusing now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. (Asked what might become of The Wing’s furniture, IWG said it did not have any details to share at this time.)

The Wing once hosted events with women ranging from Nancy Pelosi to a panel of sex workers, published a magazine called “No Man’s Land,” and sold merchandise with slogans like “Girls Doing Whatever The F*ck They Want.”

Launched in 2016 by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, The Wing came about in the same moment in time that it appeared Americans may have elected the first female president, Hilary Clinton, and was the place where some women gathered, in anticipation, of celebrating that. It heavily leaned into carving out a safe, empowering space for women at a time when the #MeToo movement was garnering incredible attention.

The company had raised $167 million from investors, including WeWork Airbnb, and venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates, according to data from Pitchbook.

But, ultimately, the founders’ vision didn’t pan out. As the nation more broadly reckoned with systemic issues of inequality in 2020, the company grappled with allegations that the lived reality of members and workers did not reflect its mission of inclusion. Gelman, its CEO and the face of the company, stepped down. Meanwhile, the company was also challenged by the impacts of the pandemic on its business.

The Wing, in February, had promoted its chief marketing officer, Jen Cho, to fill the role of CEO and steer the company. Cho departed The Wing in July after just five months at the helm.