Almost a year ago, my wife, Carolyn, showed me a small blurb in a magazine about a new women’s club called The Wing. It was noteworthy on a personal level. I had spent my life fighting to be where the boys were—because it seemed to be where the action was. It started on the soccer field and persists in the boardroom. Not to mention that there was a world of clubs I could not get into, be it because of my religion, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic class. I created my network of women organically—school friends and a handful of women who have shared the common experience of working our way up over the past 25 years. Until joining WeWork, I did not realize how lonely my journey had been; I underestimated the value of a true community.
A few months ago, The Wing was reintroduced to Jen Skyler, our Global Head of Public Affairs, and to me through Julie Rice, our Chief Brand Officer who was also one of the SoulCycle co-founders and a current advisor to The Wing. Julie is one of the most important entrepreneurs of our generation and she also happens to be a woman. I admit that made Jen and me hopeful, but we were still uncertain about what to expect.
From the moment we entered the first Wing location, we knew there was something special. The last time I felt like that was when I first visited WeWork Soho, our first location, as the first WeWork Labs was under construction. From that initial Wing visit, we cultivated a relationship with Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, the cofounders. We quickly recognized the importance and power of what Audrey and Lauren were building.
The Wing is a network of coworking and community spaces for women. Their mission is to create space for women to advance their pursuits and build community together. WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and I discussed how aligned their mission was with ours. By connecting people through our spaces with the best of design, technology, and, most importantly, community, we believe we will humanize the way people work and live. Audrey and Lauren believe they provide the opportunity for women to create magic by gathering together.
At WeWork, we strive to be the great equalizer—the place that, with hard work and talent, anyone can succeed. In order to be that place, we need to work with creators in all sorts of ways. Through the Creator Awards, we provide financing and celebration; through our efforts with veterans and refugees, we provide job opportunity; through Flatiron School, we provide education. Today we are thrilled to announce that WeWork is leading The Wing’s series B financing, and I will be joining The Wing’s board of directors. This investment, our largest to date, will help fuel The Wing’s expansion around the world, connecting even more women to their vibrant, progressive, strong community.
I am grateful to work at a company with founders and leaders who are truly committed to changing the world. At this moment in time, I could not be more optimistic about how Jen, Julie and the rest of the WeWork team in partnership with Audrey, Lauren and the rest of The Wing team will create magic together.