Posted on March 06 2020
International Women's Day is about celebrating all women alike and supporting women. We'd like to give a warm welcome to Cate Luzio the Founder and CEO of Luminary. Luminary has played a special role in shaping ALLY and it's also where we do all of our private fittings with clients. Thanks to women like Cate, Luminary has opened a door where it allows women to grow, learn and build themselves up and we are happy to be apart of the organization that she building.
Tell us about yourself. What sparked the idea of Luminary.
Cate: After a two-decades long career in banking, I wanted to do something with bigger and broader impact especially for women in corporate America. I had spent years leading various women’s networks and initiatives but I was tired of hearing excuses of “she’s not quite ready yet” or “she doesn’t have the technical skills or experience” and women being passed over for roles and $. If she really isn’t ready, then let’s invest in her development and get her ready way before she gets passed over, or worse, leaves. Advancing women in the corporate workforce, especially the “middle” inspired me to launch Luminary. Realizing that there are corporate women, entrepreneurs, teachers, and more has propelled us into supporting a much bigger audience and creating a true inclusive community with cross-pollination and a real ecosystem of women, working with women but NOT excluding men. We need them at the table with us. Self-funding allowed me to really put my women where my mouth was.
Since it’s International Women’s Day and we know that you are constantly surrounded by female entrepreneurs, what makes you most optimistic about female entrepreneurship?
Cate: Women founders and women-owned businesses are creating their own marketplaces and ecosystems. Communities like Luminary have been created to support building informal economies that support women in their career journeys including entrepreneurs. With over 1800 women-owned businesses launching every day, I think with the right support, resources and access to capital, the future looks VERY bright.
As a female entrepreneur, how has the meaning of International Women's Day transformed for you.
Cate: IWD as well as Women’s History Month is a great time to celebrate incredible, trailblazing women and the progress we have made over the years. However, as my career has grown and my focus on advancing women in the workforce, pay equity and overall parity, I feel we should celebrate women every day, not just one day of the year. Today we are more than 50% of the workforce, we’re the working mothers, the # of entrepreneurs/women-owned businesses growing at 5x more than men, the caregivers, corporate America, the CEOs, the students, the leaders and more. Let’s celebrate that EVERY day.
What motivates you every day?
Cate: My goal is to advance women in the workforce through community, to accelerate us to gender equality and pay parity. Knowing the stubborn stats, but the progress and momentum we have, that motivates me every day.
What advice do you have for younger women in honor of International women’s day?
Cate: Support one another. Advocate for more than yourself and amplify the voices of the woman around you and at the table. And if they aren’t there yet, extend an invitation.