Courtney Hakanson's job has had her on the road for years. As a hospitality consultant, she has become accustomed to working remotely, plugging in her laptop wherever she could find an outlet. But that all changed Monday when a new company opened in Boston.
"I can't even believe that it took as long as it did to get a space that looks like this, feels like this," said Hakanson, sitting at a table decorated with pastels and vibrant prints.
The 34-year-old is one of the newest members of The Wing, a coworking space for women in Boston's Back Bay. First started in New York in 2016, the company has grown quickly with offices all around the country, and with one now slated for London.
"Boston was one of the most requested cities," said events curator Audrey Hsia.
Offering plush lounge and work spaces, a restaurant, an outdoor terrace and showers, The Wing acts as both an office and a community space for women. Included in the $185 monthly membership are regular events, along with an app that allows you to create a profile with your resume for other members to see.
"There are so many women who are highly educated who work in education, in biotech, engineering, all these things, that don't know one another. And they feel isolated," Hsia said. "So this is something I think is really crucial here, for women to meet one another and really advance one another in their roles."
While the reception has been a warm one, it has not been without issue. Prior to its opening on Monday, The Wing tried to release a series of ads along the MBTA system, but faced pushback from the agency, which refused to allow an ad that read, "The world was built for men. The Wing was built for you."
When NBC10 Boston asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the MBTA said they believed the message demeaned or disparaged a certain group of people. The company agreed to make changes to it, but said there should be no debate around the idea that women are living in a male dominated society.
"I love it here. There is a big hunger for community spaces to meet like-minded people," said Breighl Robbins, who runs Ebi, a postpartum wellness company.
For women who have already joined, the space seems to cut through a divide created by background or race. Podcast hosts, doctors and CEOs are all interacting in one room. It is inviting. It is optimistic. And for many, it has never been more important.
"This workspace allows women to catch up," Hakanson said. "And allow them to network in a way that men do, quite frankly, in a lot of other private spaces."