A True Work-Life Balance by Hannah Friesen

Glaucia Martin-Porath is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of a B-Corp called Women’s Plaza. Though she is still seeking the right Portland space to launch the project, her idea has been in the works for almost 2 years. Her mission is, “to establish a resource rich community that nurtures, supports, fulfills, and empowers working mothers and their families on a daily basis.” She believes that women are the catalyst for gender equality. Building communities of strong capable women will surely lead to a culture shift on a larger scale, but it all has to start small.

For Glaucia, the motivation to start this venture wasn’t obvious until she was right up against it as a working mom with young children in Portland. Glaucia is originally from Brazil where, years ago, she unexpectedly started a highly successful apparel company. After 5 years of double-digit growth and success she sold her portion of the company. She moved to Australia to learn English, then to Canada for a Master’s degree in Creative Arts Therapy to add into her Social Communication and Marketing degree from Brazil. Finally, in Portland she spent more than a decade working in social services as an early childhood mental health therapist.

This is when she really noticed the gap.

The gap between reality and her dream of being the best mother and the best professional.  It may have been more of a crevasse. There was no work-life balance. And there were no resources for attaining it. Rather than working within those constraints, she dreamed she might be able to use her unique experience and expertise to tackle the reality that she knew was pandemic. And the Women’s Plaza was born. A co-working space, complete with childcare, exercise classes, catering to take home a fresh balanced meal, and the best part: a super tight network of women who start out with just a few shared values and end up as friends and colleagues. Her vision is, “a world where working mothers are fully and equally supported, recognized and compensated as indispensable active members of our society,” and it’s finally within reach.

The refreshing thing is that Glaucia doesn’t speak business like Big Business does. She speaks of approaching financing in a more nurturing, long term kind of way. Of Thriving with a capital ‘T’ instead of Profit with a capital ‘P.’ I can’t help but feel almost missionary in the way I want to go forth and spread the good news! We have found it! It’s over here! We have solved the work-life balance conundrum!

So what’s next?

Spread the word:

We’re closing the gap because we want to Thrive.


Hannah Friesen is a senior in Marketing at Portland State University. She is earning a certificate in Social Innovation in order to create larger change in her community through her passion for communication. She hopes to use her people skills and fashion design experience to create something completely new, using her powers for good.