The ladies behind WWCO

Women Who Cowork is a community built by two women who have lived your experience.

Women Who Cowork was formed in 2016 when Iris Kavanagh and Laura Shook Guzman met and decided to work together to amplify and highlight the work of female founders in the coworking industry.

As passionate early adopters of the coworking model, and with a combined 22 years of experience, Iris and Laura have lived your experiences as women in business and have chosen to remain allegiant to themselves, and to their strengths and values as women. They have combined these superpowers in an effort to grow and build a supportive community for the women leaders within the coworking movement.

Laura Shook-Guzman

community development, wellness,
mental health, nervous system optimization

Laura Shook Guzman, LMFT, the CEO/Founder of Soma Vida, is a thought leader for coworking, work/life design and entrepreneurial mental health. Early last year, she was cited in the Huffington Post as a pioneer of coworking in Austin – How Women Change The World: With Heart, Service and Community. 

Laura strives for work-life integration, and combines her knowledge and application of somatic psychotherapy with the elemental principles of interior design psychology to nourish both the individual and the communities as well as the spaces they inhabit. Her coworking space, Soma Vida, the first wellness coworking community of it’s kind, was named one of Austin’s best workplaces by the RAD Office Tour 2017 and was highlighted for it’s wellness-forward design. By introducing interior design psychology to the coworking model, Laura bridges the gap between personal and collective spaces, providing support for clients seeking to build an intentional and holistic culture for their communities. And, to further her mission, Laura has joined hands with coworking thought-leader, Iris Kavanaugh, to launch Women Who Cowork, a global, supportive platform for female founders of coworking spaces.

Laura’s educational background includes a BA in Psychology from The University of Texas in Austin and a MA in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She has also completed advanced training in Somatic Experiencing and is currently licensed in the State of Texas as a Marriage and Family Therapist. In her private practice, Conscious Ambition, Laura provides somatic psychotherapy for leaders and entrepreneurs as well as wellness consulting for personal and professional spaces.

Iris Kavanagh

operations, Scaling and multi-location strategy,
Community and staff culture development

Iris Kavanagh works with shared workspace organizations to streamline operations and develop dynamic communities. She fell in love with coworking when, as a member in 2009, she realized how powerful the experience of a real, in-person community was and quickly started thinking of ways to change the world through the coworking model.

Iris took an opportunity to join the team as the first employee of NextSpace – first as Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Community Officer – she helped grow the company from an idea to nine locations. Her primary roles were to guide and scale operations and then to communicate and instill the organization’s culture in each new location. Her guidance helped the staff develop vibrant communities, push the definition of collaboration, and convey the culture to members, visitors and prospective new employees.

Iris co-founded the League of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces and COSHARE, produced Freelance Camps and has spoken at the Global WorkSpace Association Conference, the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, and the Young Entrepreneurship Summit.

Iris currently consults, co-leads Women Who Cowork and showcases industry and movement leaders through her media series,  Coworking with Iris. She lives in Santa Cruz, California with her son and various fur and feathered babies. An avid gardener, Iris also loves to support her children’s various endeavors, Crossfit, run, create amazing things with food and hike the local trails.