Women in E-Commerce
Women tend to be underrepresented in top leadership positions in technology. According to a recent article in Inc., women fill just 8 percent of the leadership roles in technology startup companies. That’s a small number. However, what’s fascinating to me is that the women who do fill C-suite roles in technology tend to gravitate toward e-commerce.
From Fab.com’s COO Beth Ferreira to the women who founded Birchbox (Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp) to Gilt’s CEO Michelle Peluso, more and more women are rising to top leadership positions in e-commerce. Coincidence? I don’t think so. In fact, I think there are several reasons why many female executives find their niche in e-commerce.
Although I want to be careful to avoid overgeneralizing female executives or implying that all women should aspire to possess the same leadership traits, many of the most successful female e-commerce execs seem to share at least two important qualities — they’re detail oriented and have practical sensibility.
Detail oriented: It’s fairly common for emerging women leaders in e-commerce to come from the world of finance. My experience in finance played an important role in preparing me for my time at Dotcom Distribution because both finance and e-commerce require detail-oriented leadership characteristics.
There isn’t anything about e-commerce that makes it a more acceptable or appropriate career trajectory for women leaders. However, I do think that women leaders are more apt to focus on the details than men, and that contributes to their success in operations and other opportunities in e-commerce.
For example, Cheriqui Naidas-Yanogacio is the head of Dotcom Distribution’s client relations team. Her job requires her to be immersed in the operation at all levels and to be in touch with the nuts and bolts of our operation on a daily basis. Could a man do her job? Sure. But the reason Cheriqui is so successful is that she brings a strong attention to detail to the role.