Women’s Impact on Business World Celebrated at Holy Cross Conference
The 17th annual Women in Business event encouraged alumnae, faculty, staff and students to share experiences and learn from each other.
During the keynote discussion, Erin Robert ’06, managing director of impact finance with JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Nancy E. Andrews, associate professor of classics, reflected on their time on The Hill, how it shaped their careers and how they continue to encourage women as colleagues and mentees.
“It’s incumbent on us that when we get to the tables, that we recognize that we’re there and what we can do to continue to open the doors and pull the women in behind us,” Robert said.
Robert shared that she uses her Jesuit liberal arts education to help implement and manage initiatives that incorporate the company’s goals of advancing racial equality, unraveling systemic racism in the financial markets, and combating climate change in emerging markets and putting them into action.
The 16th annual Women in Business conference featured energizing speakers, breakout discussions and live networking opportunities hosted virtually and on campus.
Drawing hundreds of participants from across the country and beyond, this year’s Women in Business conference followed a hybrid model, with on-campus and virtual events, including dynamic speakers, industry-specific breakout discussions and networking opportunities via the Whova app and Zoom.
“This year students were able to create community together on campus while alumnae were able to join virtually, allowing us to stay safe while also creating meaningful connections and lasting memories,” said Cassie Gevry, Associate Director for the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society. “We look forward to bringing the community together again while still offering the virtual option to welcome everyone to contribute to the important conversations and support each other.”
Following this informational review of the organization, they offered a fun and thought-provoking workshop on vision boards. The team at Dress for Success shared that they like to create a transformational experience for all the women they service where they help with resume and cover letter writing, offer tips on personal branding, and fit them for an interview suit and a week’s worth of professional attire. The women serviced have to be referred by a Dress for Success Agency Partner, such as the College, are unemployed and seeking work, or under-employed. They help women set up SMART goals, an acronym for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals that the women can work towards.
The vision board served as the perfect way for the WIB student committee to share how they are feeling in the semester and provide a space for the new members and the current members to interact in an interactive setting.
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Thanks to Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21 for maintaining the Women in Business and Dress for Success Worcester relationship and sharing this committee experience.
The conference provided opportunities for hundreds to network with and learn from successful women entrepreneurs and executives.
“We were thrilled with the number of registrants from around the world,” said Cassie Gevry, associate director of the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, & Society. “The strong interest from alumnae is a testament to the strength of the Holy Cross network and something we will continue to foster through the Women in Business network, even when we return to in-person events. It seemed that now, more than ever, women were looking for a way to come together to discuss their careers in business, and we were so glad the remote format gave so many attendees the ability to hear our speakers.”
Earlier this month, members of the Women in Business student committee spent a morning at Dress for Success Worcester. Dress for Success is a non-profit national organization dedicated to promoting female financial independence and career achievement by providing free professional clothing to wear in the workplace and to job interviews. In addition to providing clothing, the organization also assists women with resume building and interview preparation to increase their chances of being hired.
WIB committee members volunteered at the Worcester branch where they organized, steamed, and polished clothing and shoe donations. We were also able to learn more about what the organization does for the women it supports and opportunities to further get involved. We learned various helpful career and resume tips from Dress for Success staff members. For example, Justina Lachapelle and Beth Butler, executive director and program director respectively, explained the difference between branding and marketing and how understanding the distinction between the two can be important when developing your own personal brand for purposes such as job interviews.
Spending the morning with Dress for Success was a great way to bring in the new committee members and to better get to know one another outside of our weekly meetings. It was a great opportunity to give back to an organization that does so much to support female empowerment in the professional world.
As a committee, we are currently working to plan the 15th annual Holy Cross Women in Business Conference which will take place on campus Saturday, November 7th, 2020. We have confirmed our morning keynote alumna speaker (stay tuned for an announcement!) and are planning plenty of new programming and surprises! I hope you will celebrate 15 years with us!
Thanks to Grace Ingram ’20, WIB Committee Co-Chair, for sharing her experience. We look forward to the 15th annual conference this fall!
Starting this fall the Ciocca Centerhas hired a new workstudy position, Diversity Student Liaison, in an effort to reach the diverse populations on campus. Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21, a sociology and psychology double major pursuing the Certificate in Business Fundamentals, was already involved with the office through Women in Business. As the student committee began working to create a more inclusive and diverse conference and network, it became clear that this was an area that needed more focus. Nalani readily stepped forward and was recognized for her efforts.
“I have a passion for engaging minorities on campus to become successful students and future alumni.” commented Nalani. “I am working to find new ways to increase student awareness and involvement.”
The Diversity Student Liaison will be working with various campus partners including Career Development, Office of Multicultural Education, Athletics and the various student organizations on campus.
Please join us in welcoming Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21 to the Ciocca Center team!
Reflecting on Hurricane María and the devastation that hit Puerto Rico, the Ferré Rangel sisters say the power of their belief — to do good as both businesswomen and corporate citizens — was tested last year. As Loren puts it, the first order of business was to step into, not away from, the fray – a lesson, first learned on The Hill, that transcends geography.
Thank you to our keynotes, Loren Ferré Rangel ’92, chief creative officer of Grupo Ferré Rangel, María Eugenia Ferré Rangel ’89, chief communications officer of Grupo Ferré Rangel, and chairperson of the board of directors, GFR Media, and to Dean Michele Murray, VP for Student Affairs, Dean of Students, at Holy Cross for an inspiring interview.
Miss the annual Women in Business conference? No worries! Read a review of the 2017 Women in Business conference, written by committee members Sarah Anderson ’20 and Kate Beckerman ’20. Special THANK YOU to Provost Freije for interviewing Deirdre Latour ’95, Senior Advisor, VP & COO at GE.
This year at the Women in Business Conference, we are ~shaking~ things up! Out with the old and in with the new. We’ve transformed our keynote address into a keynote interview and to celebrate the evolution of the Conference, we’ve interviewed four students from four different majors. They have shared their insights into the Conference and gave some of the biggest tips they’ve learned over the years! Be sure to read up about their experiences and sign up for the Conference at holycross.edu/business/wib
TESS ANDREKUS ’18
Q: How did you hear about the Women in Business conference?
My mom is an alumnae (Moira Garvey ’78), and she actually brought me to a Women in Business conference back when I was only 11 years old. I got to go to some of the panels and I was hooked. Then once I got into HC, I made sure to sign up for the Prebusiness program so that I could keep an eye out for the conference each year.
Q: What year did you attend?
I’ve attended every year that I’ve been at HC, so that would be 2014, 2015, and 2016. Plus the time when I was 11!
Q: What was your favorite part of the conference?
I’ve really enjoyed when the alumni at the table engage with us students and try to figure out what helpful advice, tip and tricks they can give us. They have insight that is super helpful.
Q: What was one lasting connection you made at the conference?
I have made sure to talk to Mary Donahue Quinlan every single year. She had a panel at the conference when I went as an 11 year old, and from then on I have been a loyal fan!
Q: What are you most looking forward to at the conference this year?
This year I’m a senior so I think any advice that alums have for me will be helpful. Hopefully I can make some connections that will help me achieve success and happiness.
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Thanks to Casey Carty ’18 for this interview. Hope to see you all at the conference this year on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Registration is OPEN so be sure to sign up!