The role of women in leadership positions has significantly changed over the years. Women have stepped up and begun establishing a place for themselves in leadership roles in a way that we did not see in the past. Today, it is becoming more common to see women occupying high-profile leadership positions in the business.
Sharing her views on the causes behind this change, Monica Eaton-Cardone (Founder and COO of Chargebacks911) says, “I think the main catalyst for this change is that we’ve had trailblazers who increase the visibility of women, but still turn around and offer a hand to uplift the next generation of female leaders to ensure that the door doesn’t close behind them.”
Monica is a prime example of such a game-changing woman leader who is inspiring the next generation of female leaders. She began working at an early age but always had it as a goal to do something that would allow her to direct her own destiny. She launched and sold her first business—which was a company aimed at supplying furniture for resorts—when she was still a teenager.
Later, while pursuing interior designing in college, Monica took a job under a man named Blair—who inspired the approach she has taken to leadership since. When she founded Chargebacks911 in 2011, it was the first specialized chargeback management service on the market. There were some providers that helped merchants by providing alert services, however, no one was addressing the issue head-on. Chargebacks911 created a strategy for a fully-managed chargeback solution aimed at fighting illegitimate disputes and preventing future chargebacks.
In an interview with Mirror Review, Monica shed light upon how she led the company towards being one of the pioneers in the industry, as well as her views on women leadership, women empowerment, and feminism. Here are some of the snippets from the conversation.
How did Chargebacks911 manage to cope with the COVID-19 induced changes?
At Chargebacks911, the collaboration between team members, as well as between different departments, is a key component of our workflow. So, I was concerned about the majority of staff suddenly pivoting to remote work. However, we managed the situation very well. Our teams were able to work remotely with no issues. It also helped that we had adaptable contingency plans already in place for emergency situations. We might have made those plans with a weather event like a hurricane in mind, but we were able to adapt them with no problem.
Being a new-age leader, how do you encourage creativity within the team?
I have always tried to maintain a close role in shaping the direction of the company. I want to remain a part of the development process for new products and services. At the same time, it is equally important to know when to step back and allow the team members to take the lead. I want to empower my employees by giving them the space to experiment with their ideas and making them feel they are supported in doing so. Even though we are no longer a fresh start-up tech company, I want to maintain that same dynamism and mentality.
How do you foster the women empowerment within your organization?
I am a big proponent of mentorship. As I alluded to earlier, I think the key to carving out space for women in leadership is for those who have already managed to find success to then lend a hand and uplift those who come next. We are looking to make this more of a focus within our company, as well as externally. Presently, I am looking for ways in which I can collaborate with other female leaders in the payments space to connect mentors and mentees. I want to facilitate conversations and make it easier for those with valuable insight to offer advice.
What is your favorite thing about being a women leader?
I love the sense of purpose that comes along with my role as a woman in leadership. While I am certainly not the first woman to carve out a place for myself in payments and finance, the industry does remain an overwhelmingly male-dominated field. So, just by existing as a woman in a position of leadership, I have already taken a step forward. I enjoy being in a position where I can build a business from the ground-up and showcase to others that, if I can accomplish this, then they can do it too.
What are your views on feminism?
I have always been a bit hesitant to label myself as a feminist. I believe that, as women in a highly competitive, male-dominated industry, it is important to foster solidarity and to create opportunities for one another. To me, practical feminism should be about how we build relationships that can accomplish it.
Moving forward, what are your expectations for the year 2021?
It’s been fascinating to see the pace at which consumer habits changed over the last year. Shoppers had been slowly warming up to options like click-and-collect and curbside pickup for several years. In 2020, however, the need to maintain social distancing bolstered the adoption. Click-and-collect retail, or BOPIS (buy online pick up in-store) purchases in the US more than doubled last year compared to 2019.
While some consumers will be happy to go back to brick-and-mortar shopping, I think 2020 pushed us over the tipping point. Going forward, we should expect shopping channels that blend digital elements with the in-store experience to be the norm, rather than the exception.
Read full issue: The 10 Game-Changing Women Leaders of 2021