Julie Castro Abrams
Julie is the founder and CEO of How Women Lead, a platform for leading women influencers to connect, learn, find purpose and make an impact. How Women Lead is at the center of the movement to disrupt antiquated, unequal systems by propelling women into even greater leadership roles and increasing opportunities for all women. Julie has been an essential driver of the ecosystem for women on corporate boards in California. As Managing Partner for 2020 Women on Boards, Julie has been a national leader in the movement and drove the successful passage of the groundbreaking Senate Bill 826, requiring public companies to have women on their boards. Julie launched BoardLeaders.com, which specializes in corporate board placements to meet the demand for women leaders.
Julie launched the How Women Invest venture fund in 2020 as a General Partner to disrupt the venture landscape. An active investor and advisor to start-ups, and the leader of the nation's largest microenterprise and microfinance organization for 11 years, Julie has helped launch over 6,000 women into successful businesses. Julie sits on the advisory boards of the fin-tech start-up LENDonate, Nia Impact Capital and The New Search Collaborative. and is the Governance Chair for the Women’s Funding Network, a network of women’s foundations across the globe. In her CEO role with Women’s Initiative for Self Employment she led an effort that trained over 6,000 women to start businesses that sustained – 70% over 5 years with consistent sales.
She has previously led the board of multiple nonprofit organizations located throughout the country, including Board Director for the National Council of La Raza, Governance Chair for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, and Board Chair of Cypress String Quartet. The recipient of many accolades, she has won the More Jobs Genius Award, the Morgan Stanley Innovation Award, Cisco’s Innovation in Technology Award, the League of Women Voters’ Women Who Could Be President Award, the Stevie Award for Best Non-Profit Executive, and the Commission on the Status of Women’s Human Rights Award, and is a member of the Women of Color Action Network, Leadership California, and the Marin Women's Hall of Fame. She has also been featured in four books, including “Scrappy Women in Business,” “Women of Courage,” and “The Missing Mentor,” and Fast Company’s video series “30 Second MBA.”