Gilda Gonzalez graduated from Saint Mary’s with a degree in industrial psychology and a passion for business. She went on to earn a master’s in public administration from Cal State University, East Bay and became devoted to public service. She says the best advice she ever received was to start contributing to her 401(K) at the age of 25. Gonzalez is now CEO of the Unity Council, a nonprofit community development corporation committed to enriching the Fruitvale District of Oakland.

Gonzalez is a strong advocate of sustainable economic, social and neighborhood development. In 2001, she was named the City of Oakland’s director of intergovernmental affairs. She hopes young women today feel empowered enough to explore any career path. She reminds this generation that “child bearing is an option, not a requirement. So choose freely and choose wisely.”

See other Women of Influence

40 Years/One Night, a "Gaela" celebration recognizing the 40 Influential Women of Saint Mary's, will be held on Sat., Nov. 6 in the Soda Center. It begins with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a raffle and a silent auction. The keynote speaker will be Kristine Carlson, co-author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series. Go to stmarys-ca.edu/womeninphil for tickets and more information.

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Saint Mary's College of California
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Moraga, CA 94575
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