Cate Luzio on Redefining Networking and Mentorship for Women

On the latest episode of the WomenHeard podcast, host Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich interviews Cate Luzio, former Global Head of Multinational Corporate Banking for HSBC, who took a leap to start her own business venture. In 2018, Luzio founded Luminary, a New York City-based networking platform and coworking space dedicated to elevating women in their careers through community, resources, and innovative programming. 

This episode covers Luzio’s motivations for founding Luminary, the transition from banking to entrepreneurship, how to successfully network, and more. Plus, you won’t want to miss her practical advice for entrepreneurs and ambitious women. Read on for a glimpse of what to expect on this week’s episode.

How to Promote Yourself

Luzio advocates for women to take control of their careers, advising them to “be in the driver’s seat at all times.”

One way to climb ladders at the office? Speak up about your achievements. “Get comfortable talking about yourself,” Luzio says. “It’s not bragging if it’s based on facts.” She also encourages women to write down their accomplishments so they’ll have a record of the work they’ve done. This mindset shift is important for women who often downplay their successes or hesitate to share them. Luzio’s emphasis on owning and vocalizing accomplishments pushes women to recognize and be proud of their achievements.

Don’t “Network.” Build Relationships Instead.

As we all know, networking is a crucial part of professional growth. And with the amount of layoffs and uncertainty in today’s job market, building a strong network is even more essential than before. 

Luzio speaks to the importance of not just networking, but building relationships that can provide support, guidance, and potential leads during challenging times. “Don’t be afraid to ask,” she says.

She explains the value of engaging in “exploratory conversations,” which can be used as a tool to open doors to new opportunities and partnerships. By engaging in open-ended conversations and asking engaging questions, you can build meaningful and long-lasting relationships. This approach to networking—viewed as relationship-building rather than transactional interactions—is a crucial part of Luminary’s philosophy.

Advice for Women in the Workplace

Luziov offers advice to women navigating their careers, whether they’re running their own businesses or working in an office from 9 to 5 everyday. She speaks to the importance of keeping resumes and LinkedIn profiles updated, not just for external opportunities but also for internal advancement within one’s current organization. This approach ensures you’re always prepared to seize new opportunities when they arise, and you can effectively communicate your value to potential employers or collaborators. 

Reflecting on her own entrepreneurial journey, Luzio shares the challenges of building a business from the ground up. Almost six years into Luminary, she admits underestimating the challenges and isolation that come with being a sole founder and investor. Recognizing the importance of a strong support system, Luzio talks about the necessity of having three key individuals: a business banker, an accountant, and a lawyer. These advisors provide guidance and expertise, helping entrepreneurs navigate the complexities of starting and growing a business. 

Overall, success in entrepreneurship requires resilience, strategic planning, and a supportive community to seize opportunities for growth.

Thank you to Cate Luizo for joining us on this week’s podcast! For the full episode, listen to NYWICI’s WomenHeard podcast.

Written by By Kadija Abdoulaye


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