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Audrey Gelman wrote a candid post about her failures at The Wing. (Wikimedia Commons)
Audrey Gelman wrote a candid post about her failures at The Wing. (Wikimedia Commons)

Audrey Gelman, co-founder and CEO of women’s co-working space The Wing, is taking off the filters.

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.

[Related: 10 Major Milestones for Women in 2019, From Unicorns to Pregnant CEOs]

“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.

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