Audrey Gelman, Founder of The Wing, recently made history as the first pregnant woman to appear on the cover of any business magazine. Gelman was photographed at six months pregnant when she appeared on the cover of Inc. Magazine, and recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
The Wing is a groundbreaking co-working space collective and club that is geared towards women. According to Inc Magazine’s article, The Wing currently features eight locations across the country, with plans to open up more soon. Gelman explained in her interview for Inc. Magazine that the idea behind her company is ““about creating quality and meaning and doing everything with real intention.”
The Wing is run by a dedicated, all-women executive team, employing a total of six men.
Gelman admits that she had concerns about mixing the busy lifestyle of running a multi-million dollar company with motherhood. According to Inc. Magazine:
Part of having an entirely women-run company is that pregnancies and child care aren’t occasional HR blips–they’re constant.
After months of morning sickness, including the time when she was about to go onstage at a summit held by one of her venture capital investors and instead ran to the rear of the tent to vomit, Gelman had begun embracing the messy reality of her life stage. She’d stopped taking redeye flights, stopped doing work calls late on Sunday nights. And, she said, “I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy.”
Since the cover was released there has been a great deal of media attention and praise for The Wing, Gelman, and Inc. Magazine. Gelman explained in an interview with Today the importance of having strong, successful business women publicly juggling the responsibilities of motherhood while successfully serving in executive positions of leadership. “You can’t be what you can’t see, so I think it’s so important for women to see that it’s possible to run a fast growing business and also to start a family,” Gelman said. “It’s so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood.”
“My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family.”
Twitter was also buzzing with responses from women congratulating and encouraging Gelman. One fellow Founder and CEO of her own company tweeted:
Another woman tweeted:
Live Action News reports:
This magazine cover is the latest of efforts to normalize pregnancy in a time where women still face pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Employees at companies like Google, Nike, UPS, and more — even including abortion giant Planned Parenthood — and more have alleged discrimination in hiring, firing, and promotions due to a woman’s pregnancy. As Forbes pointed out, even the mere possibility of pregnancy can be enough to penalize a woman in the workplace.
Women like Gelman prove that it is not necessary for women to sacrifice their dreams of motherhood in order to also be successful business women.