I asked Orange County-based Gia Altreche to be part of the Women Who Wow series because she is a leader in the legal marketing industry and an advocate for the profession and diversity & inclusion. Gia is the Director of Business Development and Marketing at Newmeyer & Dillion LLP and serves as co-chair of the Legal Marketing Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Shared Interest Group. Learn more about her below.

Why did you choose your profession?

Technically it chose me. It was during a post-college adventure to find a marriage between the legal field (initially intending to go to law school), and human communication (a love I found in my last year in college, which slightly derailed the initial focus) that ended with my resume miraculously in the hands of my now mentor, who was the Head of Business Development & Marketing at a major law firm in Phoenix, AZ. Talk about the power of networking!

At the time, I didn’t know legal marketing existed, but quickly learned it offered access to both play a role in advocating for my community, while continuing to study and nurture the role of human connection in business. Plus, being surrounded by the crème of the crop legal minds across a variety of industries, seeking out continuous education on the ever evolving role and how I could support their efforts was greatly satisfying. Learn more about her and her career path below.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

First, and especially this year, it is a beautiful recognition of the 100 year anniversary of a woman’s right to vote. Now more than ever, it is important to understand how much it took to get the 19th amendment passed, and how we must all use our voice in the democratic process. It is also my (virtual) standing ovation to the six women who threw their hats in the ring to hold the highest position in our country – President. That is a momentous evolution. And even with this example, it is also my reminder that we have a long way to go, both in closing the gender pay gap within the gender and across it, along with the opportunities offered.

March 31st marks Equal Pay Day where, “it symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.” This gap continues to widen as we peel back the statistics around women of color. We all have a role, and to me, Women’s History Month is an opportunity to assess what I can do personally and professionally to move the ball forward in elevating the female collective for generations to come.

What do you love most about what you do?

Finding the authenticity in everything. Without it, any business development or marketing initiative will crumble, breaking down the barriers in what a traditional ‘rainmaker’ looks like, as the ‘shaking hands and kissing babies’ as the sole option is an out of style concept. Helping everyone see that we all have a hand in building and maintaining authentic relationships.

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

“When the world asks you to diminish, EXPAND.” – Elaine Welteroth (author, More Than Enough, second youngest female Editor in Chief for Teen Vogue, and second African American to hold that position in Conde Nast’s 107-year history) during March 28th’s webinar with Valeisha Butterfield-Jones (Google’s Global Head of Inclusion) when asked this same question. I couldn’t have said it better.”r.