We had the good fortune of connecting with Cate Luzio and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cate, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Growing up with two brothers and a dominant father, living in a neighborhood full of boys and playing sports since I can remember, I was encouraged (ok, pushed) by my dad to show up every day, determined to do better, and further, to learn and develop my skills. Those skills included leadership, being part of a team, working together, playing together, collaborating to win, and supporting in defeat. I also learned the difference between success and failure. At an early age, my eyes were opened take risks often, especially when you’re betting on yourself.

When I got to high school, we didn’t have a ‘girls soccer team.’ And although I had been playing on boys’ teams for years, I wasn’t allowed to try out for our high school team. As a freshman you don’t necessarily want to stand out; however, I did. Learning from my dad, I took a risk and petitioned and presented to our School Board, found a coach and started the first girls soccer team at Matawan Regional High School. 20 years later the girls team won the NJ State Championship.

That early risk-taking demonstrated that if I bet on me, I will always succeed even if I fall down over and over. Falling down doesn’t mean failure, giving up does. Leaders take risks. They bet on themselves. I did. And in the process, created new opportunities for others. I just wanted to play soccer and ensure others had that opportunity too. It’s what I’ve done throughout my career – establishing an exemplary career in banking across three continents to self-funding and starting my own company. Any of these could have not worked out, but the reward was bigger than the risk itself.

What should our readers know about your business?

I spent two decades in financial services leading global multibillion-dollar businesses. During this time, I also led many of the institutions’ women’s networks and saw the disproportionate number of men to women and women of color in the senior ranks. I recognized the problem was a lack of investment and development of talent in the female pipeline, rather than a lack of talent itself. This observation sparked a new direction for my own trajectory. In a sharp career pivot, I wrote a business plan and set out on a new mission to help women see a path toward advancement by arming them with the tools, resources, and community to propel them to the top — regardless of their professional journey.

At the end of 2018, I launched and self-funded Luminary, a global membership-based career and personal growth platform and collaboration hub created to address the systemic challenges impacting women across all industries and sectors. Luminary is the ultimate career advocate, uplifting and upskilling women through all phases of their professional journey — in the workforce, entrepreneurship, and in transition — by providing a vast eco-system of expert-led thought leadership programs, as well as in-person and virtual workshops and events. Members are comprised of a multigenerational and intersectional community of intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, corporations, and organizations including UBS, WW, JPMorgan Chase, Unilever, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, ViacomCBS, ADP, Kimberly Clark, Spotify and more.

Prior to Luminary, I was Global Head of Multinational Corporate Banking for HSBC, managing more than 2,000 employees worldwide and prior to that served as Head of Multinational Corporate Banking at J.P. Morgan EMEA based in London. I spent my early years in Latin America with Bank of America across both consumer and wholesale banking. I was named to American Banker’s ‘Most Powerful Women in Banking’ list multiple years in a row, am a 3-time Financial Times Global Diversity Champion, and a 3-time Yahoo Finance Diversity Hero. I am a proud Inc. 100 Female Founder (2019), a Forbes Next 100 and I remain committed to leveraging my extensive corporate experience to support and encourage women and push for gender equality and pay parity in the workplace.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my parents who never let me quit, my mentors (they know who they are) for always pushing me forward and the Luminary community for being a part of the biggest risk I have ever taken in starting my company. My story is as much theirs as it is mine.

Website: https://www.luminary-nyc.com

Instagram: @cateluzio

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cluzio

Twitter: @cateluzio

Facebook: @cateluzio

Image Credits
Mira Zaki Alyssa Peek Vicky Garcia

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