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Elevating women into CEO roles with Luann Abrams.

About this Episode

Luann Abrams is the CEO of CEOX. This company connects highly qualified female CEO-ready candidates to CEO roles. They identify candidates for these crucial roles by asking successful CEOs and senior leaders who understand what skills are required to excel as CEOs, to nominate women who have the potential to transform companies.

Some of our favorite quotes

Really? You couldn't find a women for this position?

Most women that are CEOs are there because they started their own company. (Luann)

A reference is a huge part of getting a job. How do we expand networks so they include women? (Luann)

So much of hiring is our networks; which makes complete sense. Trust is very important. (Luann)

Even when the woman CEO candidate is the most qualified there's still the struggle of fitting them into the existing company culture. (Luann)

My vision is balance. I think the world would be better if we had balance in leadership. (Luann)

I wish the #metoo movement was around when I was going through some of this. (Lyn)

It's become fashionable to "diss" the old white guy. I don't think discrimination of any kind is where we want to go. (Lyn)

This is one more tool that will help us to get closer to gender equality at the CEO level in a positive way.

20 years from now I hope CEOX doesn't exist because it's no longer needed.

For women, I would say promote yourself more. Be more proactive in moving yourself forward.

For men, I would say it's all good. Don't be threatened by this, be empowered.

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About The Guest

Luann's journey started in aerospace engineering where she gained years of experience in the aircraft industry (the majority working at a start-up). Working at a growing company presented her with opportunities to dig in wherever her skills were most needed. Ultimately her commitment, ability to execute, integrity and judgment led her to become Certification Manager and Designated Engineering Representative at Columbia Aircraft (acquired by Cessna), signing off on regulatory compliance on behalf of the FAA.

After taking some time to decompress from a high-intensity role, she began doing various consulting projects, ultimately joining a small venture fund as a partner. In this capacity, she works in many different facets including deal flow, due diligence, finances, recruitment and business management. In a situation where numerous projects need to get done, you will find her getting it done. It is also in this role that she grew into being the fierce advocate for women that she is now. She steps in to help with Operations from time to time with her portfolio companies.

Once established with FoundersPad, she helped build the Women in STEAM group that supports women in STEAM careers. She developed a mentorship program for STEAM professionals and started CEOX. CEOX was born out of a culmination of her life's experience of being a woman in a world designed for men. It is a way to advocate for the incredibly talented and smart women that she is surrounded by and encounters every day.

(Bio courtesy of Luann's LinkedIn profile.)


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