Regional president for Virginia and Greater Washington, M&T Bank Corp., Vienna
Outside of her three-decade career in banking, in which she currently manages more than 60 branches, Cecilia Hodges enjoys volunteering for community organizations and charities.
“I can see in the work that those dollars really make a difference to people,” she says.
One organization she’s involved with, Women Giving Back, is a boutique that provides free clothing to women in need. Many of its clients “are either living in homeless shelters or transitional housing or enrolled in some type of program to help them get back on their feet,” Hodges explains. To boost funding for the organization, she started the annual Women’s Empowerment Luncheon, building on the many connections she’s made in the greater Washington, D.C., region over the years. M&T Bank sponsors the event, and the proceeds go to Women Giving Back.
Organizations like Women Giving Back are important to Hodges, who recalls that, early in her career, she was often the only woman in the room. Male colleagues would often blithely suggest she take up golf because “that’s how you connect.” But, Hodges says with a laugh, “I don’t like to play golf. … I’m not good at it.”
Hodges also mentors younger people and women in the banking industry on how to embrace themselves as they build their skills and connections. “Your authentic self is a tremendous value that you can bring to any organization,” she says.