The Wing members’ club, opened its doors to entrepreneurial women in New York City with backing of $2.5 million from seed funding in late 2016.
Co-founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan launched the club for women only and said their aim was for The Wing to function both as a workspace as well as a “a hub for community and connection between women”. However they have recently changed their membership policies.
In August 2018, a 53 year-old man by the name of James Pietrangelo filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against The Wing, in federal court in DC, seeking combined damages of at least $75,000 and up to $12 million.
This raised the question as to whether it was legal for the The Wing to operate as a women’s only club? Technically not. Because as much as The Wing disguises itself as a social club, it’s too large, with its community of over 6,000 members, to benefit from laws that actually permit those sorts of groups to practice gender discrimination, according to a Jezebel report. A problem other women’s clubs wish they had – this is debatable.
It has now been brought to light, that The Wing has recently altered its membership policy to allow access to anyone, as first reported by Insider. The company, however, said the transition has been planned for some time as a result of conversations with trans and non-binary members and is not a result of the ongoing lawsuit: “The membership policy was codified and adopted before the lawsuit,” a spokesperson for The Wing told TechCrunch.
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