Women To Know: Cate Luzio, CEO at Luminary

Female CEOs make us swoon. And we’re here to share their stories one by one. We’re excited to introduce Cate Luzio, Founder and CEO of Luminary. Luminary is NYC’s collaboration hub for women and Cate’s impressive dedication to helping professional women inspired us to share her story.

Who Is Cate?

Cate spent 16 years in the financial services industry before making the decision to disrupt her career and jump into entrepreneurship, launching Luminary, a premier NYC collaboration hub for women who are passionate about professional development and expanding their networks. Cate decided that her entrepreneurial skills and global experience was the perfect combination to create this inspired community.

Tell Me More About Luminary

Luminary was founded in March 2018 as a physical space and community for professional, empowered women to develop, network, and connect. Cate calls it, “a refuge for the curious, the ambitious, the connectors, and the change agents.” (Amazing, count us in!). Cate prides the company on being a diverse collective of women and hopes that it will grow to help women foster meaningful personal and professional relationships. Luminary will officially open its doors this month in New York City.

When we first connected with Cate, we new that we needed to pick her brain on her inspiration and journey. She chatted with us about becoming an entrepreneur after years in financial services, what she would tell her 30-year old self, and what she’s most excited to learn in her new journey.

Why Create Luminary?

“After almost 20 years in banking and rising quickly to the senior level where I had a seat at the table, I wanted to do more. I still didn’t see enough women around me and those below me saw only a few of us. Where was the investment in our female talent and pipeline? As I looked outside the finance industry, it was a similar story. I wanted to do things differently and act beyond buzzwords to make change happen. Putting my money where my mouth is, I wanted to create a platform for women to work together to accelerate progress to gender equality. Luminary is reimagining a space for women with an emphasis on community, investing in self-development, wellness, flexibility and giving back.”

What advice you would give your 30 year old self?

“First, you’re going to make mistakes. When you fall down, get up and brush yourself off. Walk it off. No one is batting 1,000. Second, be yourself. Learn from others and develop your skills but be YOU, be authentic. Third, no one cares about your career more than you do - it’s your ultimate investment. Be in the driver’s seat of your own career roadmap.”

What big things are you looking to learn right now? Any challenges you’re tackling?

“I’m a first-time entrepreneur after 20 years in the “corporate world.” The challenges I face are, 1. I am self-funding and I get less “press” because I am not raising money (which I find hard to understand as I am putting everything on the line); 2. I continue to get compared to/pitted against other women-owned/led businesses that might have some similarities. Why do we have to compete? Can’t we collaborate and broaden the impact for more women?” 

We’ve been inspired by Cate’s desire to be surrounded by like-minded women who want to create change, support, inspire, and raise each other up. We are members at Luminary and hope you will be too! We can collaborate, partner and grow our careers together there. If you want to learn more, or sign up, go to https://www.luminary-nyc.com/.

Women supporting women will always be our mission and we hope you’ll join us by supporting women-led businesses and female entrepreneurs.

Laura Bauman