CATHIE J. VICK
Chief development and government affairs officer, Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk
Cathie J. Vick was the first woman to join the Port of Virginia’s executive leadership team eight years ago.
Vick had no direct experience in the male-dominated maritime industry, so she almost didn’t apply for the job, but a male colleague encouraged her to try.
“Just having my job is shattering the glass ceiling,” Vick says. “I’m so proud that I’ve built a team that’s brought in over $1 billion in state and federal funds to help build this port.”
Today, she helps recruit other women into leadership roles and nudges women to take a shot when they doubt themselves. She often advises women to lead even if they aren’t managers.
“You don’t have to wait to have a certain title to lead,” Vick says.
Previously, Vick served as director of government relations for Virginia Natural Gas and deputy director of energy policy for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (now the Virginia Department of Energy), and she has served on several organizations’ boards, including LEAD Hampton Roads, the Sorensen Institute and Optima Health.
After Vick became a mom, she struggled with juggling her business and home roles. She was inspired by her former boss, the late Jodi Gidley of Virginia Natural Gas, who blocked time off on her calendar every day to speak with her kids.
“I saw a strong female leader who kept the right balance,” Vick says. “She helped me see the bigger picture, and I try to emulate that.”