The new mom and businesswoman penned a post for Fast Company discussing the challenges and failures that come with scaling a fast-growing company, including the lack of “conditions for safety, inclusion and belonging for women of color” and the decision to prioritize “business growth over cultural growth.”
Gelman — the first visibly pregnant CEO to appear on the cover of a business magazine last year —said that while she was being celebrated, she wasn’t being upfront about difficult issues going on behind the scenes.
“Instead, I was selling a new version of a decades-old fantasy that, as women, we can have it all: be a young CEO, scale a fast-growing business, start a family,” she wrote. “Not pictured were the brutal demands of growth, the overwhelming, uncharted waters of new motherhood, and the fear of failure that comes along with being a founder.”
While not elaborating with details, Gelman cited “micro- and macro-aggressions” in the different outposts of The Wing — one just opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — and the fact that employees were leaving because they didn’t see opportunities for growth.
“Rather than creating a healthy feedback loop and addressing with urgency the issues that members and employees identified, we prioritized business growth over cultural growth,” she wrote.