Top 20 Women in Commerce 2023

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), VTEX is proud to acknowledge and celebrate the top 20 women in commerce. These remarkable women are breaking down barriers, driving change, and significantly impacting the digital commerce world.

From entrepreneurs and business leaders to marketing and technology experts, these women are paving the way for future generations of women in commerce. They come from all corners of the Earth, bringing diverse perspectives and innovative ideas to the industry.

Our Top 20 Women in Commerce list is a testament to women’s incredible work and accomplishments in this field. We hope that by highlighting their achievements, we can encourage and inspire other women to pursue their passions in digital commerce and help create a more inclusive and diverse industry.

Here is our second edition of the global Top 20 Women in Commerce list.

Brazil

Julia Rueff, Marketplace senior director @ Mercado Libre 

Julia Rueff is the current Marketplace senior director at Mercado Libre, one of the ecommerce leaders in Latin America. She has over 14 years of experience in large multinational and national companies in the technology, retail, and industry segments, such as Cnova, Whirlpool, and B2W. In addition to her extensive experience, Rueff is also a well-known speaker who participates in various events and panels, sharing her expertise on retail, ecommerce, and gender equity. 

“Beyond the impactful performance and development in the ecommerce market, the increase in the number of women in top leadership positions helps break down prejudice barriers and inspires other women to follow their paths of evolution and growth.

I am thrilled and honored with this recognition. VTEX is a great booster of the ecommerce business and a global reference in technology.”

Júlia Ferreira, head of Digital @ Grupo Soma

Júlia Ferreira is an accomplished digital marketing and ecommerce professional with over a decade of experience in the industry. After four years in Marketing and Ecommerce at Sephora, she moved on to Grupo Soma, one of the biggest fashion companies in Brazil, where she started as an ecommerce specialist in 2016 and worked her way up to become head of Digital at Farm, one of Grupo Soma’s brands. 

“Despite the obstacles we still face in the labor market, women are increasingly playing a prominent role in their fields. In digital retail, for example, we find several incredible professionals contributing significantly to the segment’s growth. With a keen eye for innovation and being very connected with consumers’ needs, they are essential in defining strategies and leading relevant projects.

Being on a list that praises the female contribution to the ecommerce ecosystem, along with so many other women who make a difference every day, is extremely gratifying to me. Such acknowledgment makes me really proud, and I hope I can somehow also inspire more women to follow their dreams and pursue success in their careers.”

Ana Fontes, founder and president @ RME – Rede Mulher Empreendedora

Ana Fontes is a social entrepreneur and founder of RME – Rede Mulher Empreendedora and Instituto RME, which supports women in generating income through education, mentorship programs, and access to financial resources. She leads the Brazilian delegation in the W20/G20 group and provides consultancy services to Seguros Unimed, Instituto Avon, and Plan Brazil. Fontes has received numerous awards, including being named one of the 20 most powerful women in Brazil by Forbes and winning the Fortune Most Powerful Women award in 2017.

“The importance of women in the ecommerce ecosystem is vital. Today, in Brazil, almost half of the small businesses are led and have a woman on their staff. Most of these women look at ecommerce as a possibility of starting a business, making an income for the family, and being able to connect all their professional and personal actions. Ecommerce has been growing significantly, and it is indeed a path, a way for these women to connect with the income generation environment and help them have a business that causes more and more impact, even nationwide.

I am delighted to be acknowledged. I loved being nominated. I have been working with women in all segments since 2010, when I created  Rede Mulher Empreendedora, and I’ve spent 13 years on this journey helping these women try to have an income, make their businesses gain visibility, and develop so they could support their families and have an income not only for them but for their own environments. And ecommerce plays a fundamental role here because many women start their businesses at home. Ecommerce is an option for these women to get started and then explore other paths, with the most diverse possibilities. So I am very happy to be on the list, very grateful and honored. On behalf of all women of Rede Mulher Empreendedora, I can only thank you.”

Rachel Maia, founder and CEO @ RMConsulting

Rachel Maia is the founder and CEO of RMConsulting, focusing on sustainability and leadership. She has worked at 7-Eleven and Novartis Pharmacy and led market entry and growth strategies for Tiffany & Co. as the CFO for almost eight years. After that, she worked as Pandora’s CEO in Brazil for another eight years. Maia is a member of various organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Retail Development, the Brazilian Women’s Group, among others. She is also a mentor and recently founded a non-profit organization, CAPACITA-ME, empowering students and professionals from underserved communities in São Paulo.

United States of America

Carole Diarra, global vice-president of Marketing @ UGG

Carole Diarra is currently the global VP of Marketing at UGG. Previously, she worked as CMO at Arbonne International LLC and had 15 years of experience in the L’Oreal Group, where she held various leadership positions, including VP of Brand Management, VP of Retail Category Development, and VP of Marketing. She also has an MBA degree from Harvard University.

Priya Janardhanan, Technology leader @ Worldwide Golf Shops

Priya Janardhanan is a strategic leader with over 12 years of experience in IT applications and solutions. She also has ten years of expertise in ecommerce technology, managing the development of four branded websites. Janardhanan led teams of up to 15 on and offshore contractors and collaborated with senior leaders in risk management. She is currently the technology leader at Worldwide Golf Shops, having worked previously at Chico’s FAS and Target.

“I am incredibly grateful for your thoughtful nomination. It means so much to me to be acknowledged for my work in this field. As a woman in ecommerce, I am constantly inspired by the incredible female leaders who have paved the way before me. I am committed to doing everything I can to continue that legacy and empower other women to pursue their dreams in this field.

At Worldwide Golf Shops, our mission is to connect people and build relationships both on and off the golf course. I have personally experienced this through the interactions I’ve had with colleagues and customers alike. It is this focus on people that makes Worldwide Golf Shops such a special place to work.

Thank you again for this wonderful nomination. Working alongside such talented and supportive colleagues has been a privilege, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be part of this incredible community of women in ecommerce.”

Adriena Wright, Marketing manager @ Target

Adriena Wright is currently the Marketing manager at Target. Previously leading her own nonprofit, The Ambitious Woman Project, she now leads Target’s mentoring program with FAIR School of Arts, focusing on empowering young women and preparing them for success. Most recently, she was a part of the inaugural cohort of the Women of Color Leadership Program at Harvard Business School and holds a Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate from Cornell University. Her career includes years of experience across sales and marketing roles at Johnson & Johnson, The Wonderful Company and Lenny & Larry’s.

Kaela Kucera, Ecommerce manager @ Pierce Manufacturing 

Kaela Kucera is the ecommerce manager at Pierce Manufacturing. Previously, she worked for 14 years at Festival Foods, leading ecommerce and mobile technology programs and Public Relations and Digital Marketing teams for other retailers, driving user acquisition and retention. She is certified in Project Management Essentials and was a panelist at the 2018 Mobile CX Summit.

“It’s an honor to be part of this group and acknowledged as a top woman in commerce. The leadership I have witnessed from women throughout my career has made me the leader and motivated individual I am today. When I first started in commerce, I knew very little, but through guidance and leadership from those around me, I continued to pursue this career path and have enjoyed many successes.

Not only in technology but in all industries, I believe it’s important to highlight women and young professionals in their accomplishments. It’s up to us to show the next generations that success and professionalism aren’t driven by gender but by things such as bravery, perseverance, and servant leadership.”

Spain

Ana Laura Fleba, Digital Marketing & Commerce Hub director @ Unilever

Ana Laura Fleba is the Digital Marketing & Commerce Hub director of Unilever in Spain. Previously, she held leadership positions at Avon and Sodimac. She is a member of the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce and the Open Innovation Platform of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors Steering Committee. She is also a professor in a few graduate programs, including Digital Marketing and Ecommerce at the University of Buenos Aires and Ecommerce at the University of Salamanca and University Torcuato Di Tella.

“When it comes to leading businesses and building teams, I believe diversity of abilities and genders is essential. The complementary vision adds value and causes much more impact on the company.

I feel honored to be acknowledged as one of the top women in commerce by a company like VTEX. I started on this path many years ago and faced many challenges as a woman, including leading businesses and trying to be heard. This acknowledgment praised me and gives me the strength to continue on this path with energy, enthusiasm, and the conviction that I’m on the right path.”

Elisa Rabate, Digital & Ecommerce director @ Grup Ametller Origen

Elisa Rabate currently works as the Digital & Ecommerce director of Grup Ametller Origen, helping with the company’s ongoing digital transformation. She has over 15 years of experience across various industries, including B2C, B2B, ecommerce, and Saas. Previously, she has led pure players in Spain and collaborated with global innovation leaders.

“I believe that both gender and cultural diversity helps better understand the world as a whole and go further together.

More visibility will be given to women, and the path will open up to all the girls who are growing up without consciously or—even worse—unconsciously setting themselves limits. I hope to inspire other women to keep moving forward with their goals!”

France

Elodie Perthuisot, Chief Ecommerce, Digital Transformation and Data Officer @ Carrefour     

Elodie Perthuisot is a seasoned executive with an impressive background, currently working as Carrefour’s Chief Ecommerce, Digital Transformation, and Data Officer. She has been with the company for four years, playing a key role in driving its digital transformation strategy. Before joining Carrefour, Perthuisot held the position of commercial director at Fnac and then at Fnac Darty, where she worked for approximately six years.

UK

Josie Klafkowska, Global Marketing director @ Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology

Josie Klafkowska is a seasoned professional with over 18 years of experience in client management, new business, and marketing, spanning the creative and digital industries. She joined Cognifide (now Wunderman Thompson Technology) in 2015 and played a key role in securing the trust of industry leaders and global household names. As a part of the Wunderman Thompson Technology team, Klafkowska helps design, build, manage, and run the complex technology ecosystems that give organizations the technical capabilities that fuel their growth.

“Thank you, VTEX, for including me in this list. It’s an honor to be named alongside a group of women doing such fantastic work in digital commerce. At Wunderman Thompson, I’m lucky to be surrounded by incredible women constantly pushing the bar. Our work with clients and technology partners means that we are continually breaking new ground, ensuring that the commerce experiences we create deliver the highest expectations of consumers.

With Nielsen predicting that women will own 75% of the discretionary spending by 2028, it’s imperative that women are well represented in the industry that is creating these experiences. I feel lucky to be working at the heart of such a fast-paced segment and working with colleagues, clients, and partners—men and women—that make it all worthwhile.”

Romania 

Claudia Tudor, deputy CEO @ F64 Studio

Claudia Tudor is a senior executive with over 15 years of experience in sales, distribution, trade marketing, and operations. She has also served in general management roles in mid and large-size organizations, focusing on business operations and strategy in fully integrated international business environments. In addition to her extensive experience, Tudor has been the deputy CEO of F64 Studio since 2012.

“I am very honored to be nominated. This distinction is even more valuable as it comes from such a strong and successful community in the ecommerce industry like the VTEX community. I believe that women have an essential role in the ecommerce ecosystem. This acknowledgment motivates me to continue sharing my experience and encourage and support women in the industry. Thank you for this acknowledgment and the support you give to all women!”

México 

Pilar Rojas, CIO @ Chedraui

Pilar Rojas is a highly accomplished business leader with decades of experience in the retail industry. As the director and Chief Information Officer of Chedraui, a leading player in the grocery retail sector, she oversees the company’s technology strategy and operations. Rojas previously spent 18 years at Walmart, where she worked as vice-president and CIO. She also is a part of an Executive Management of Companies program at IPADE Business School.

Gloria Canales, Digital Strategy director @ Coppel

Gloria Canales is an experienced business leader in retail and ecommerce. She is the digital strategy director at Coppel, having worked previously at Amazon as head of Marketing. She is also the co-founder and was managing director of Ösom and a consultant at Bain & Company. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, a certificate in International Business and Strategic Management from the University of British Columbia, and a certificate in Economics of the European Union from the University of Essex.

“I believe that the participation of women in the ecommerce ecosystem and the labor market, in general, contributes to having more diverse and inclusive environments that positively impact work teams and companies. It has been proven that greater diversity translates into greater performance for companies. It’s a fact that diversity fosters greater creativity, innovation, the ability to attract and retain talent, greater agility, and the ability to understand our customers better, improving the teams’ performance. I am excited to see that there are more and more women in this ecosystem.

I feel very honored by the acknowledgment, but above all, proud to have contributed to developing the ecommerce ecosystem in Mexico. When I started in this industry 12 years ago, there were few players, and less than 10 million Mexicans bought online. Today’s industry is mature, with top-tier players and a customer experience that includes endless payment methods, fast delivery, easy returns, and greater integration with physical stores/delivery points.”

Panamá

Oksana Tsvigun, LATAM Ecommerce director @ Pandora 

With more than 16 years of experience in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) and ecommerce international companies, Oksana Tsvigun worked as a supply chain manager at L’Oreal for eight years and later served as CEO of the global fashion group Lamoda. She is currently the LATAM ecommerce director of Pandora. Additionally, Tsvigun has a master’s degree in Project Management and Consulting from Kyiv National Economics University.

Argentina

Agostina Galli, Digital manager @ Swatch and Style Store

Agostina Galli is the digital manager at Swatch and Style Store, where she leads the development of the company’s digital and user experience solutions. She has over 12 years of experience. Her expertise in digital and ecommerce strategies for luxury brands has made her a sought-after speaker and moderator for industry events, such as ecommerce talks, marketplace points, workshops for ecommerce institutes, among others.

“This acknowledgment makes me very happy, since I’ve been surrounded by strong women all my life. My family, my friends, and my educational and professional environments had a very present female view. That energy has always permeated my education, and this perception makes me know that to achieve true transformation, we need women in all teams at all levels.

In recent years, very important steps have been taken, especially if we look at women’s participation increase in the digital commerce and internet business. The way of working and interpersonal relationships also reflect these advances. Now, the biggest challenge—and, to a large extent, our responsibility—is to ensure that all women feel safe, free, heard, and valued in their work environments.

It is an honor to be part of this list with so many incredible women from all over the world. I think it is an excellent opportunity to show gratitude, to appreciate everything I have gone through these years, the opportunities I have had in my career, and all the people who accompanied me on the journey. I hope to be the one who accompanies and inspires the next generations of digital ecosystem protagonists.”

Peru

Paula Runciman, Chief Digital Leader @ Farmacias Peruanas 

Paula Runciman is a renowned digital leader and entrepreneur. She currently works as Chief Digital Leader at Farmacias Peruanas, acting as director of Omnichannel & Digital Innovation. Throughout her career, she has founded and led successful digital companies and advised top companies in analytics, digital marketing, and ecommerce. Runciman also used to be a professor at Universidad Pacifico, teaching business projects and digital marketing courses. With 20 years of experience in the commerce industry, she continues to make significant contributions to the field.

Patricia Wissar, vice-president of Technology @ Intercorp Retail

Patricia Wissar is the Information Technology vice-president of Intercorp Retail. She has a 15-year career in the tech industry and has previously worked in other leading companies, such as IBM, Oracle, and Cisco. She has a master’s degree from Georgetown University and two bachelor’s degrees from Brown University.

Colômbia 

Maria Fernanda Quiñones, CEO @ Colombian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CCCE)

Maria Fernanda Quiñones is the CEO of the Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CCCE) in Colombia and has turned the Chamber into a national reference for public and private decision-making. Previously, she was the general secretary of Credibanco, a very important electronic payment company in the country. She is an experienced corporate lawyer focusing on ecommerce, payment methods, and digital transformation, and is also passionate about economic growth and social inclusion. 

“First of all, we have tried to acknowledge and understand the deep gender gap that exists in Colombia regarding digital appropriation. We have sought to vindicate the image of women in the digital world in different ways: promoting training programs that include, in addition to digital content, content aimed at closing the gap, soft skills, and business. An example is the YAESTOYONLINE Woman program, which promotes public policies for creating STEM careers for women and supports the national government in its gap-closing programs, such as PorticMujer, of which we are currently operators.

This acknowledgment means a lot to me because one of the main motivations when performing my role is being able to show that a female perspective is essential to success in any industry—particularly the digital one. Women have great contribution capacities, from conceptualizing and running any business initiative to—and above all—understanding a specific market: the female one, which has been reached with an essentially masculine message for decades.”

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