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Conference for Women draws a notable crowd

At the conference, Anne Finucane (left) and Tory Burch.
At the conference, Anne Finucane (left) and Tory Burch. photos by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

It was a packed house Thursday as more than 10,000 women — and a handful of gents — gathered for the 10th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women. The daylong event, held at the BCEC, drew an array of luminaries, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Oscar winner (and Hampshire College grad) Lupita Nyong’o, design maven Tory Burch, and Life is good cofounder John Jacobs. Of course, the convention center was also teeming with local notables such as State Street’s Alison Quirk, Bentley president Gloria Larson, The Partnership’s Carol Fulp, Weber Shandwick’s Micho Spring, Hill Holliday’s Karen Kaplan, Bank of America’s Anne Finucane, and Riverbed Technology’s Lynn Tinney, who talked work-family balance on a powerhouse panel including “Passages” author Gail Sheehy, Yahoo’s Lisa Belkin, “Maxed Out” writer Katrina Alcorn, and Boston Scientific’s Camille Chang Gilmore. One of the day’s highlights was a speech by Deborah Hughes, CEO of Boston’s Brookview House, which has served homeless families since 1990. After receiving the 2014 Be the Change Award to thunderous applause, Hughes walked to the podium and surveyed the crowd of thousands. “Estrogen,” she said, “is a wonderful thing.”

Actor Lupita Nyong’o spoke during the conference.
Actor Lupita Nyong’o spoke during the conference.Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff