Deirdre Latrour '95, senior advisor, vice president and chief communications officer at GE, speaks before students during Women in Business Conference. Image by Rob Carlin
Members of the planning committee for the Women in Business conference, from top left: Rosangel Cruz Cabrera ’18; Casey Carty '18; Kate Beckerman '20. From bottom left: Clare O'Leary '19; Sarah Anderson '20; Delaney Wells '20. Image by Rob Carlin
“Figure out who you are and devise a life around it.” This was the advice Deirdre Latour ’95 offered to students and alumnae at the 12th annual Women in Business Conference at the College of the Holy Cross.
Latour, who was recently named senior advisor at GE in addition to her role as vice president and chief communications officer, took the stage with Margaret Freije, provost and dean of the College, for an interview-style keynote address.
For Latour, Holy Cross is special because it offers a platform for students to explore a variety of fields of study. She explained that earning a history degree from Holy Cross allowed her to develop strong analytical skills, which have given her a unique perspective in the competitive workforce. Holy Cross fostered her innate sense of resilience and open-mindedness which, she explained, she continually applies to her work at GE.
“Take advantage of every opportunity the college gives you, be open-minded and learn from each other,” she said to a full Hogan Ballroom. Latour encouraged students to be present and engaged with their fellow students, explaining that the Holy Cross community and network transcends students’ time on campus.
Both Freije and Latour reminded students of the importance of “figuring out who you are as a person.” Developing a healthy sense of self, according to Latour, will cultivate the determined and confident mindset necessary for success. She stressed the value of discovering one’s own “power center” — made up of an individual’s strengths and motivators — through personal reflection and self-exploration, which she noted that she herself continually strives to develop.
Self-awareness, Latour shared, is a lifelong process.
Speaking at Holy Cross’ Women in Business Conference falls in line with Latour’s commitment to being an advocate and role model for aspiring women working in business, as she also serves as a member of the Board of the Women’s Network at GE. In her work and life, Latour — inspired by the phrase “nevertheless she persisted” — asserts the commitment and confidence required to achieve one’s own ambitions.
The annual Women in Business Conference, sponsored by the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies, aims to celebrate, honor, and inspire the success of Holy Cross women in business. In addition to the keynote address, the day-long conference gave students the opportunity to network and learn from the experiences of alumnae who have gone on to apply their liberal arts degrees to careers across a spectrum of professional fields. The conference featured alumnae panels that discussed topics including how to transition from college to the professional world, managing personal finances, and staying relevant in a fast-changing social media world.
Written by Sarah Anderson ’20 and Kate Beckerman ’20, members of the planning committee for the 12th annual Women in Business Conference
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