Inc. magazine is receiving a high level of praise after releasing its Female Founders issue on Wednesday featuring a visibly pregnant CEO — the very first to grace the cover of a business publication.
Audrey Gelman, the 32-year-old CEO of the the Wing, the network of work and community spaces designed for women, did the honors of representing working mothers and moms-to-be after being selected for the cover. Gelman, now nine months pregnant, says she’s proud to bring new images to the forefront for entrepreneurial women wanting it all.
“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 told TODAY. “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.”
In her cover story, Gelman even admitted to initially thinking that she “can’t be pregnant. I have so much to do.” Ultimately, she realized that she would just have to run her business differently.
“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,” she explained to Inc.
Now she’s being praised by people beyond those at her company who are thrilled about her groundbreaking appearance on Inc.’s cover — while, of course, remaining in disbelief that the image is the first of its kind.
Now *that's* innovating ✊— Megan Collins (@megancollins) September 18, 2019
Kuddos to you! I'm also a female Founder and CEO and 8 months along. Changing the business world one bump at a time! :-)— Emilie Mazzacurati (@emazzacurati) September 18, 2019
Isn’t it *INSANE* that a pregnant CEO has NEVER been on a business magazine cover?! Big up to @Inc for this baby step and hey, next time publishers it can be just a routine cover, ok? Not a special for Female Founders only. Let’s normalise this. We all come from pregnancy ffs✊ https://t.co/WlNiauIIPW— Tehmina Kaoosji (@TehminaKaoosji) September 18, 2019
Hundreds of others took to Gelman’s Instagram post to praise both the businesswoman and the magazine.
“An example for all of us as well as our daughters....EVERYTHING is possible,” one person wrote, while another commented, “Beyond proud and so stoked for you. This is iconic.”
While other incredible trailblazers accompany Gelman in the pages of the magazine — including Jen Rubio of Away and Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble — the editor of Inc., James Ledbetter, says that the mother-to-be seemed like the perfect choice for the cover.
“When we learned that the cofounder of the Wing was pregnant, it seemed like the perfect way to illustrate all the ways that women are reshaping the world of work,” reads a statement sent by Inc. to Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s the perfect cover for our annual list of Female Founders.”
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