Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of Black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is public relations and brand marketing veteran Gilda Squire.
Gilda N. Squire
Founder, Squire Media & Management Inc.
My first job was, believe it or not, a cashier at the amusement park Kings Dominion near my home in Caroline County, Virginia. I enjoyed it so much because we got to meet and work with kids from neighboring counties and we got to enjoy the park for free!
I feel like there have been so many big breaks throughout my life and career. My first big break was moving to New York City and stumbling into a job on Wall Street at a major investment banking firm. I would have never dreamed that I’d have a job on Wall Street, but it was the most exciting, lesson-filled six years I could have ever asked for. I traveled internationally for the first time and worked with people all over the world. I also met friends who remain a big part of my life today.
I’ve had to work hardest at remembering that everything I’ve had the honor and privilege of doing in my life, I’ve earned it. It didn’t happen by accident. I’ve had to remind myself that although my path has not been the norm, I have worked hard to arrive at this place in my life.
I never imagined I would work with such amazing people like Misty Copeland, Angela Bassett, Alek Wek, Courtney B. Vance, Walter Moseley, Tina Lifford, Michaela DePrince, Calvin Royal III, and so many more. It’s not just about their celebrity, it’s about the fact that they’ve each, in their own way, broken down barriers, paved a path for others to follow, and created bodies of work as African American artists that will be remembered for decades to come. I’m honored that they’ve trusted me to be their representative and confidante.
I wish I would have learned that with patience comes rewards and blessings. I’ve always wanted things to happen when I was ready for them to happen. But I’ve since learned that everything happens when—and if—it’s supposed to.
The risk I regret not taking is… You may not believe it, but I truly have no regrets. There is not one thing I wish I would have or could have done differently. I believe that I am exactly where destiny—and God—intended me to be.
If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent getting a really long, exhaustive massage, an intense cleansing facial, and a mani/pedi (man, how I miss those!), topped off with a good book and home-cooked meal.
Worrying about my elderly father and making sure that I’m doing all I can, as his daughter, to surround him with as much support and care as I can keeps me up at night.
When I’m struggling, I say to myself, This too shall pass. Stay the course.
I am unapologetically honest and generous.
Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.