Networking hub for women in NYC

As someone who works in a male-dominated industry, sports, even today, in 2023, I’ve often looked for like-minded women, who have similar goals, similar drive, but also from other industries, for me to connect with and learn from because of their different career experiences.  

I found a place that serves all of those needs while providing resources to empower women. And it’s all in a chic, modern space, where you can work, hold meetings, get your hair blown out … and even work out.  

It’s called Luminary, and Founder and CEO of Luminary, Cate Luzio, explains exactly what, Luminary is.

"We are an inclusive membership-based career platform for growth for women of all professional journeys. We also don't just focus on professional development," Luzio says. "We're really looking at the whole woman and we're talking to women in transition, women in entrepreneurship, women climbing a corporate ladder and really focusing on how to uplift and upskill them through content, community, and programming … our whole thing is we're inviting everyone to come sit at our table, right? Doesn't matter what you look like, what you do, what your background is."

A former finance executive and banker for two decades, Luzio self-funded Luminary, which launched in 2019.

She says, "I had very good mentors, mostly white males. I had phenomenal opportunities. I moved around the world with those opportunities and I had a pretty unique experience as a woman in financial services. I didn't see the same for a lot of my peers or those below me. And I wanted to figure out how do we invest in our pipeline much earlier, particularly for women and then obviously for underrepresented communities."

Luminary’s networking hub is located in the NoMad section of Manhattan.

One of the things that stands out, besides the modern decor, are the messages, sayings and hashtags throughout the space.

Luzio says, "This is our code of conduct for anyone in the community, whether you're in the space, or online and not only our community or our staff, which is just equally as part of it. This actually was thought up by our staff. During the pandemic, there was a real focus on how do we create a much bigger version of ourselves and what did our mission align around? And that’s be confident, be open, be passionate, be genuine, be yourself  … it’s really all around our code of conduct. And that's what we really want people to feel when they're part of Luminary."

Despite shutting down Luminary's space for over a year due to the pandemic, thanks to holding virtual workshops and events, the company has grown to more than 3,000 individual members and over 70 corporate partners.

Luzio, says, "You'll appreciate this. Tina, as woman in a male-dominated industry, there are already a lot of barriers for us. So why create another barrier with an application process?  So we said, we're not going to have an application process. If this is the space, that community you want to be a part of, then we welcome you. It's also really helped in thinking more purposefully and intentionally about diversity and inclusion and welcoming … being that open community. And now because we're digital, as well as in the New York area, our community is now over 45% women of color. And from an economic standpoint, we have multiple tiers of membership."

Luminary's three floors of 15,000 square feet of co-working space include Wi-Fi, printing, and phone or zoom booths. There are also conference rooms and event spaces with complimentary wine on tap.  

As Luzio leads a tour around the space she points out, "This what we call our reception lounge area, and it’s wonderful, because it's right next to our main kitchen, to keep it about that connecting, collaborating, I love to take meetings in here just because it is like your living room."

She went on to say, "When we do an event, especially our larger events, this transforms, because I have an incredible team, into an event space. We do a lot of panels and fireside chats in here, marketplaces with women who own businesses."

There’s a Fitness Studio with lockers, a changing area  & showers, including live classes for members. Wellness and lactation rooms are a welcomed site for many women, and the beauty bar is fully stocked for hairstyling.

The private rooftop goes beyond being an event space. "The Glass Ceiling" is a functioning restaurant, where anyone can make a reservation ... and takes the term to a whole new level.

"We also have day passes. If someone's coming in just for the day from Philly or Westchester or Long Island, they can pop in and utilize the space and they can bring in guests, Luzio says.

Luzio concludes the tour by saying, "Much of what we hear from women, and the challenges they face in their career, is that they don't have something, or they don't have a network. You've got it right here at your fingertips."

And Luminary is not exclusively for women, the space and platform are for women, those who identify as women, and their male allies. The day FOX 5 NY visited Cate Luzio for a tour, there were men working in every room.