BOSTON (CBS) – It’s a first for Boston, a co-working space designed for women, and Monday was opening day. It’s called “The Wing” and the Boylston St. location is the company’s eighth.
While some say the idea is an innovative one, others say it’s controversial. “I think it’s beautiful and wonderful, and it’s an amazing community of women,” said Dr. Aditi Nerurkar a Wing member.
“Everything about it feels comfortable, feels inspiring. The networking opportunities here are really incredible,” added Madison Trapkin who actually won her membership by solving clues that lead her to find a “golden ticket” that was hidden in Boston.
“I went up to her afterwards and said, you are Willie Wonka. This is my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment,” she said.
Aditi and Madison are two of about 500 people who have already joined the Boston site. The Wing started three years ago in New York.
“The Wing is a co-working and community space for women designed by women,” says Audrey Hsia from The Wing.
There are private work spaces plus open settings, conference rooms and an incredible view from the 15th floor. There’s a “pump” room for nursing mothers, a beauty room with cosmetics and hair products and a cafe. “In the Boston one we specifically collaborated with seven female, local based chefs,” said Hsia.
All designed to create comfort and community for women. The temperature is set at the low 70’s. “We take into consideration that in a lot of office environments, it’s a little too cold for a woman,” Hsia said.
Even the furniture is specially designed. “We take the height of the average woman, and we recalculate it to match our seating and our table height,” Hsia said.
“Bringing all the like-minded women together in one space is so special. I think having a safe space just for women identifying people is really important,” Madison says.
There have been legal challenges in other cities charging the company with discriminatory practices, but The Wing says men are welcome to apply. However, they wouldn’t tell us if there are any men who are members. That doesn’t seem to be a concern for people looking for a space of their own.
“It’s really on the forefront of change and they’re talking about topics which are relevant to women, and I really like that,” added Aditi. “Boston has so many really well connected, highly educated women working in biotech, engineering, law, higher education, and they don’t know one another. They have a hard time connecting with one another in such a rather privileged, male dominated city and space. I think this fills a huge gap,” said Hsia.
The cost is $185 a month for a membership.