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How Women Lead Adds Third Regional Chapter in the U.S. to Support Senior Executive Women

CHICAGO , February 08 /Businesswire/ - How Women Lead, a powerful community of more than 15,000 accomplished women executives working to redefine female leadership in the 21st century, has added a Chicago Region chapter with a powerhouse executive board. The new Illinois-based chapter will help propel women to higher positions of power and influence in the region.

The Chicago Region chapter kicked off its first in-person meeting of investors, board directors and C-Suite leaders on October 2, 2022.

“How Women Lead has gathered together some of the most powerful leaders in the city and has partnered with regional organizations to support Chicago’s women in senior leadership,” said Julie Castro Abrams, Founder and CEO of How Women Lead. “I am excited for the Chicago chapter to mobilize our movement and help change the gender and racial equity equation in all areas of work and community.”

The Chicago chapter of How Women Lead has a goal of reaching 10,000 women leaders in Chicago by 2027. The group of influential women will focus programming around corporate boards, investing, senior women’s leadership, elevating their own brand, and philanthropy & impact. With these efforts in mind, the chapter will be engaging with IWF Chicago and other organizations to promote events and development activities that support these goals.

There are two upcoming opportunities to network in-person and learn more about How Women Lead's efforts in Chicago, listed below. The organization invites those interested in joining to sign up here for additional information.

  • February 16 at 5-8 p.m. CST (Senior women leaders)
  • February 15 at 12:30-2 p.m. CST (Venture Capitalists)

With over 15,000 senior executive women at the top of their game, How Women Lead is changing the definition of women’s leadership by helping experienced, talented women leaders - particularly women of color - claim their seats in the C-suites and corporate boardrooms, and as limited partners in venture capital firms.

In alignment with similar efforts in California, the Chicago chapter is already working on legislative efforts in Illinois to require public companies to have gender and racial diversity on their boards.

“Asset management firms and other financial leaders have made it very clear through requirements that it is a financial imperative to have board diversity for good governance. In order to protect shareholders and Illinois companies, it is essential that Illinois establish legislation requiring the good governance practice of diversity in boards,” added Castro Abrams. “With advice from Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, the California legislator who successfully implemented legislation, How Women Lead is once again tackling this initiative in Illinois.”

The Executive Board

The Chicago Region Executive Board is led by Kimberley Goode and Amalia Rioja.

The Executive Board is rounded out with a cadre of impressive local senior executive women including:

  • Amalia Rioja, Partner at Hoke LLC
  • Debra Clary, AVP at Humana
  • Jaclyn Jackson, SVP and Chief HR Officer at National Equity Fund, Inc
  • Jennifer Lee, Board Member at Enzyme by Design
  • Jessica Patton, Co-Founder and Principal at 5th Century Partners
  • Kimberley Goode, Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer at BMO Financial Group
  • Lizette Williams, Global Head of Vertical Solutions Marketing at Meta
  • Lori Igleski, Founder, Heart-Led Ventures LLC and Senior Advisor, Bravanti
  • Racquel Harris, Board Director at Bader Rutter
  • Sarah Glavin, Head of Community Affairs at Amazon
  • Stacie Selinger, Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations, GCM Grosvenor
  • Stephanie Gaffin, Managing Partner and Co-Founder SLS Capital Advisors
  • Violet Clark, Of-Counsel at Laner Muchin, Ltd.

The executive board represents a cross section of government, business, and non-profit organizations. To join the Chicago region chapter of How Women Lead, please visit and sign up here for additional information.

About How Women Lead

How Women Lead is a national organization of top executive women focused on activating their individual and collective power to achieve equity for women by driving representation and opportunities across all aspects of life and career. Founded in 2011, the organization fights for change at all levels by affecting systems reform, mobilizing a movement, offering training, and providing access to opportunities. Now more than 15,000 strong, the organization has expanded the breadth and depth of its impact nationally. How Women Lead’s philanthropic arm, How Women Give, provides grants and invaluable connections to women’s and girls’ organizations on the frontlines of today’s most critical issues. And its sister organization, How Women Invest, invites women to play big and powerfully in venture, making meaningful investments and propelling high-potential, women-led companies forward at scale. For more, visit

STORY TAGS: Nonprofit, Product/Service, United States, North America, Professional Services, Philanthropy, Thought Leadership, Consumer, Asset Management, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Foundation, Labor, Women, Human Resources, Finance, Public Policy/Government, Consulting, Illinois,


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