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.
Maria Haggerty is CEO and one of the original founders of Dotcom Distribution, a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business with a concentration in Accounting. Maria plays an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the business, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. As CEO, she is responsible for providing strategic leadership, establishing long range goals, and developing strategies for the senior leadership team. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities while achieving favorable results. She works closely with the leadership team to enhance, develop, and enforce procedures that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the corporation. During her tenure at the Dotcom, Maria has developed an environment of continual improvement by supporting the Senior Leadership Team and their department managers on continuous process, space labor, automation, and financial best practices. Prior to founding Dotcom, Maria was a CPA at Arthur Andersen and was later the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video where she helped grow the company’s distribution business. When Maria is not in the office, she enjoys traveling around the world and practicing her photography skills.