Leading the Charge: Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-Founder and COO of Chargebacks911
Anyone who knows Monica Eaton-Cardone is aware that she’s a long-time, committed advocate of women taking on professional and leadership roles in technology. She has made a serious commitment to helping every member of her organisation grow and reach their true potential.
We sat down with her to discuss her mission for equality across the payments space, as well as some of the key learnings she has attained along the way.
Why is it important to spotlight women and support their growth?
It’s my view that women have the same competencies in professional roles as their male colleagues. The key difference, though, is that we often tend to take a different approach to how we conduct ourselves.
In my experience, women tend to be more hesitant to step up and claim credit for their accomplishments. We are generally less insistent on demanding recognition for our contributions, preferring instead to operate with more attention paid to team, rather than individual, success. Research published in the Leadership & Organization Development Journal found that women in management positions tended to place more emphasis on cooperation, while men in similar positions had more “transactional” approaches to leadership.
What motivates you? Is it a book, a quote, an activity, someone, or something?
I feel most engaged when I’m learning something new. I sincerely enjoy finding a new concept or skill and studying it from every angle – taking it apart and putting it back together again until I understand exactly how it works. It’s been a huge driver in my professional life and has helped me discover new opportunities and ways to do business.
This quote from Muhammad Ali also really speaks to me: “I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
What’s one challenge you have faced in your career that you believe helped you to grow as a person or a professional?
One challenge I faced in my early career was the urge to listen to the advice from self-professed “experts” over my own experience. I was determined to find a solution for chargebacks, but conventional wisdom said it’s better to just accept them as a cost of doing business. Even though I knew most of the disputes filed against me were invalid, I was advised not to fight back, and so I didn’t. Months went by, and I was losing more and more money with each one. Finally, I said, “enough is enough.” I decided to handle things my own way, which proved to be the right decision.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last year?
I learned how to truly unplug. While many of us have been working from home, it’s easy for the days to run together and for the lines between work and home to blur. It can be hard sometimes; after all, the company is incredibly important to me and I want to see it succeed. That said, I know I’ll be much better positioned in the long run if I take time to recharge and come back with a fresh perspective. I do this by getting outside, staying active, and spending time with my family.
How do you think having a diverse team has aided your company’s success?
Not only is fostering diversity the right thing to do – it’s also a business imperative in the technology space. In order to build a tool that works, everyone who uses it needs to be represented with a seat at the table. I strongly believe that by having a diverse team, we are making better products built with all of our customers in mind.
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