By Gia Altreche, LMA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee Co-chair
On the sixth day, Gia Altreche, LMA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee Co-chair, shares more about how the LMA DEI community leveraged digital media in a time of advocacy and education, and what’s in store for the organization’s DEI efforts in the year ahead.
What was on your bright side of 2020, both personally and professionally?
One of my favorite quotes is, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Where at one turn the abrupt force of this pandemic shut the world down and left many of us upside down, it also made way for many 2020 bright spots, both personally & professionally.
Personally, by being stripped of the daily hustle and bustle, I was able to create opportunities to intentionally and consistently “fill my cup.” That manifested into healthier habits around my meditation practice, moving and fueling my body, and making self-care a priority. I became a plant mom (it’s a real thing ya’ll) and focused on being fully present with my friends and family by facilitating deeper conversations, learning more about my history and enjoying that Zoom partayyy life (yep, I said it). I also challenged myself to do some scary things — like practicing vulnerability and getting comfortable being uncomfortable, which not only opened me to new adventures personally, but incredible opportunities professionally.
Professionally, one of my brightest moments was taking the very important role as the 2020 co-chair for LMA’s DEI Committee and SIG. 2020 challenged us all to not only leverage our online presence as the primary channel for connection, but to use it in a year that called for us all to show up to actively address the racial and social injustices in our country, and to fiercely advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in all forms. Although by no means an expert, this was what drew me to be a part of something bigger than myself. In a time of so much uncertainty, this was a space I could pour into to learn, grow and be a part of the solution.
Together with my insightful LMA co-chairs, committee members and leaders in the organization, we were able to leverage our digital platforms to execute scalable and actionable initiatives to support our members in this effort. This included an online DEI Resource Center, an organization-wide Town Hall, four Strategies+ blog posts and three DEI related podcasts — including one that I was honored to join Dr. Laura Quiros on to discuss going beyond random acts of DEI to intentional engagement.
We were also able to host seven SIG-related programs, all using different digital engagement styles, from traditional webinars to interactive roundtables and book club formats each highlighting a different DEI focus. We added our first DEI track to the LMA Annual Conference, where I was incredibly excited to lead the Q&A session with keynote speaker, Baratunde Thurston, on how we can all “show up.”
Separate from LMA, I was also grateful to continue the DEI discussion across other digital platforms, including four additional speaking engagements. I wrapped up the year with my diversity and inclusion certification from eCornell.
My goal is to continue to do my part to keep this momentum through 2021. Will you all join me?
Tell us a little about your SIG/committee/task force. What are your primary goals for 2021?
I’m so looking forward to continuing into my second year as the co-chair of LMA’s DEI Committee alongside the fabulous Jessica Aries and our amazing committee group. Last year our focus was to create a foundation we could build on, and our goal for 2021 is to continue to build up. This includes leading data informed strategies that meet our members’ and our industries’ needs, including creating a long-term strategy around LMA’s specific DEI goals, and finding ways to strengthen our online community and digital platforms. Have suggestions on how we can continue to do so? We’re all ears!
Gia Altreche is the director of business development and marketing at Newmeyer Dillion, leading the firm’s client engagement strategies to further expand relationships and authentically support its client base and surrounding business communities. With 15 years in the industry, she has a deep passion for helping law firms create incremental steps for long term success, including building and sustaining a culture that nurtures an inclusive environment where everyone has a seat at the table and a voice to be heard.
Altreche is the co-chair of the 2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee for the Legal Marketing Association. Growing up in Phoenix, Gia is now a proud resident of Long Beach, Calif. When not in the office, she loves all things food, travel, being near water and connecting with family and friends.