Q&A: Meghan Stabler, Senior Vice President, BigCommerce
The Women’s Domain is a campaign launched by ecommerce agency 5874 Commerce on International Women’s Day 2022.
A campaign, sponsored by its partners BigCommerce, consists of 12 months of research which will be pulled together into a whitepaper and released on IWD 2023. Download it here.
As part of that research, The Women’s Domain interviewed Meghan Stabler, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at BigCommerce in July 2022 as part of its podcast series. Below is an extract of that interview and you can listen to the full episode here or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Meghan has a strong results-driven background in SaaS solutions and ecommerce platforms and leads a team who continually look at market trends and opportunities to help merchants reach consumers and shoppers where they are. She’s also led an extraordinary life, and while her passion for digital transformation built a hugely successful career, she also has a real focus and desire to leave the world a better place than she found it.
In this interview we sit down with Meghan to discuss why representation in the world of eCommerce and retail is crucial and the importance of true diversity, inclusion and equality.
The Women’s Domain is a campaign focused on the representation of women in the ecommerce industry. Should ecommerce leaders care about diversity in their businesses?
Absolutely. I know that myself throughout my career, and other leaders within BigCommerce try to make sure that everybody has a voice and I’m not just talking men and women, it’s also people of colour as well, everybody, and making sure that you have diversity of thought.
And how do we look at businesses to be more inclusive? And the reason that inclusivity and you could say equality, is so important in the ecommerce business? Our merchants have shoppers all over the world, selling to communities of people from different cultures, ethnicities – everything. So we have to be representative of the diversity that we sell to from a merchant perspective and then from a merchant shopper perspective.
Do you think there’s resistance in the workplace to strive for true equality because it feels too difficult or overwhelming?
It’s not difficult to do, not really. You begin by being observant and being aware of everything that is happening around you. I’m aware of facial features, and seeing people that are leaning in with their body language but are not getting the ability to talk or are sitting back cross armed because they wanted to say something, but they’ve been pushed out of the conversations and I’ve seen the patriarchy – the maleness and the domination.
And then you have to take a step back and ask questions. Do we have diversity of thought? How many males and females? Do we have diversity of colour? Are we representing the LGBTQ+ community? Are we bringing these voices forward because that helps innovate, and create new, good solutions for merchants.
So diversity is good for business, for your bottom line?
Diversity is good for business as long as it’s not just for Pride Month or just for International Women’s Day. As you go through it, diversity should be a sinew, right? Attendant through everything that we do every day. And the way that we build a product, design a product, the UX for the product, sell the product, market the product, that diversity of thought needs to be in every aspect and not just authenticity, but it needs to be continuous. DNA is probably a better way to describe it.
How does a small to medium sized business that may not have the resources or structure of BigCommerce start to make positive changes in regards to diversity?
Social media, give back to the local community. Seeing the challenges that our inner cities are facing in education and learning and working out how you can contribute in just a small way. Is it your investment as a large corporation or your capability as a small company that needs to be measured on what you are doing for local impact? Maybe there’s a technology school, maybe there’s somewhere as we churn out computers and laptops, that they can be rehomed and rehoused to help others. Maybe there’s study in graphql programming languages or some things that you can go to train people. Maybe there’s women who code, women who tech, Black girls who tech, Black girls who code. There’s those types of programmes that we can bring back. And I guarantee you’re going to find the next innovator, you’re going to find the next great programmer.
As the ecommerce industry has a huge impact on our economy, should businesses within it be more outspoken on issues such as women’s rights or Black Lives Matter and be more vocal in persuading Governments to do more, perhaps be more political?
I don’t know if it’s being political. I think it’s doing the right thing for your employees and for your customers. It’s about what matters to your DNA inside of the company. We have employees in the business, and we want to be ambitious in the things that we do. We want to bring humanity into our businesses. I think it’s “is this the right thing to do?” and that’s the fundamental question. It’s not about being political.
As a woman in leadership, what advice would you give to other aspiring women leaders who maybe haven’t found their voice yet or are just working their way up the ladder?
It’s about you and being brave. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be given the opportunity to speak sometimes. So it’s about inserting yourself into the conversation with reasonable thought, factual backup and evidence and a commanding presence. We’ve got to insert ourselves in and lead and I think anybody can do it.
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