How Women Lead Empowers the Board with Powerful Appointments


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–How women lead, a powerful community of accomplished women executives working to redefine female leadership in the 21st century, has appointed Lorraine Akiba, President and CEO, LHA Ventures and Board Member: Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), HMSA and Lori Castillo Martinez, Executive Vice President & Chief Equality Officer, Salesforce and Board Director: Rhia Ventures, to its Board of Directors. The organization also added Shawnte Mitchell, Legal Director and General Counsel, Genomatica and Board Director: Life Science Cares Bay Area, Stanford University Women on Boards to its Silicon Valley Board of Directors. The three female executives are impressive and strategic new additions to How Women Lead, who will bring invaluable experience and perspective to leading the organization.

“I continue to feel both intense pride and utter admiration for the remarkable caliber of women leaders we have inspired to join our leadership team to advance the ever-important cause of gender equity,” said Julie Castro Abrams, How Women Lead Founder & CEO. “Lorraine Akiba, Lori Castillo Martinez and Shawnte Mitchell are at the top of their game and I have no doubt that our organization will benefit from their depth of knowledge, experience and perspective as we work to bring more deserving women into the room. conference, the C-suite and the world of venture capital.

Lorraine Akiba

Lorraine Akiba is an internationally acclaimed senior advisor, board member, lawyer, and speaker who brings broad and diverse experience in regulatory and energy policy, ESG, healthcare, and risk management to private and public sectors. She specializes in helping entities identify their most pressing organizational issues, manage policies and regulations, and develop corporate ESG objectives and measures to address these issues. Ms. Akiba is a recognized thought leader and sought-after strategist known for using her technical knowledge and public policy expertise to enable innovation and business transformation. Ms. Akiba is also an experienced board member of private companies and non-profit organizations. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA), the licensed Blue Cross affiliate for Hawaii; as a member of the audit, quality control and community engagement committees and undertook board strategic planning, financial budget reviews and approvals, CEO selection and corporate transformation. the company. She also sits on the boards of various national not-for-profit entities, including the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, where she chairs the governance committee.

Lori Castillo Martinez

Lori Castillo Martinez is executive vice president and chief equality officer at Salesforce, where she leads global equality efforts, including equality strategy and programs. Previously, Lori served as Head of Global Employee Relations and Equality at Salesforce – a role uniquely designed as a way to accelerate and embed people and equality initiatives at Salesforce, driven by employees. In this role, she focused on managing performance and employee relations across the globe, as well as driving equality initiatives within the company. Under Lori’s leadership, the company continued to increase representation and create a more inclusive culture through equity-focused processes and programs. Lori is also co-chair of Salesforce’s Racial Equality and Justice Task Force and sits on the board of directors of Rhia Ventures, a nonprofit venture capital firm that invests in reproductive health solutions that empower women. women. She is driven by her passion to improve the way women live and work.

Shawnte Mitchell

Prior to its recent acquisition by UCB, Inc., Shawnte most recently served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Zogenix Inc., a publicly traded commercial pharmaceutical company. As a member of the C-suite, she helped set the company’s strategic direction, providing input on long-term product development and financial plans. As Zogenix’s first general counsel, she set the strategic direction for the legal affairs team, oversees corporate compliance globally, and built the legal, intellectual property and compliance team. of the company. Shawnte has also provided direct support to the boards of Zogenix, Aptevo and Emergent, serving as Corporate Secretary and Deputy Corporate Secretary, respectively. Additionally, she has extensive non-profit board experience, serving on the boards of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and the ArtsFund. Most recently, she joined the Life Sciences Cares Bay Area Board of Directors and was recently elected to the position of Vice President.

Comprised of more than 14,000 senior women leaders, many of whom are at the peak of their careers, How Women Lead continues to set the bar for what female leadership looks like and what it can accomplish. Offering ongoing education, unparalleled mentorship opportunities and a network of peer-to-peer relationships, the organization continues to grow rapidly, as highlighted by these three exciting new appointments to its Board of Directors and the Silicon Valley Board of Directors. . Learn more about all How Women Lead board members at

About how women lead

How Women Lead is a national organization of senior women executives focused on activating their individual and collective power to achieve equity for women by advancing representation and opportunity in all aspects of life and career. Founded in 2011, the organization fights for change at all levels by influencing systems reform, mobilizing a movement, providing training and providing access to opportunity. Now more than 14,000 strong, the organization has extended the breadth and depth of its impact nationwide. How Women Lead’s philanthropic arm, How Women Give, provides invaluable grants and connections to women’s and girls’ organizations on the front lines of today’s most critical issues. And its sister organization, How women invest, invites women to play an important and powerful role in venture capital, making meaningful investments and scaling high-potential women-led businesses. To learn more, visit


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