Ep. 51: dLocal CRO Michelle Vautier Blazes A Trail in Two Male-Dominated Industries

Michelle Vautier is on the founding team of dLocal, a tech company that gives people living in emerging markets access to e-commerce and helps companies expand their reach. In her career, Michelle brought Netflix to Latin America by enabling the platform to accept payments there. She even built Facebook Messenger payments, though a man is widely credited for the patent in her name. With both the tech and payments industries being male-dominated, Michelle is used to being the only woman in the room. But she has used this as an opportunity to lift other women up and has continued to say yes to opportunities that come her way, even when she didn't feel ready.

"Things disappear. Experiences don't. Experiences and things that happen in your life, you can't erase those. Invest in them. They make you a whole person, and that's always been a big driver for me."

We discuss her innovative career path, her experiences being the only woman in the room, finding her passion, letting go and seeing where things take her, being aware of opportunities and going for them, her experiences as a woman in Silicon Valley and technology, learning how to advocate for yourself, using your network to accomplish what you want, and the importance of not underestimating yourself.

"I cannot count the endless times I've been in a meeting and I'm the only woman in the room. That for me has been a challenge but it's also been an inspiration to blaze through that, to make that room. At Facebook, I was the first woman on the payments team. When I left, I think it was 70% women. Even at dLocal, I'm the only woman on the founding team and I made sure my team had a good mix. Both men and women have different skill sets and together they can build really amazing things."

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Michelle is chief revenue officer at D.Local
  • Michelle was born in Argentina and grew up in the US.
  • D.Local is a technology company and cross border payments platform.
  • D.Local enables ecommerce and business to tap into emerging markets.
  • The model was developed with markets in Latin America and is now being rolled out in Eastern Europe, South-east Asia and India.
  • The CRO is the face of the company alongside the CEO; they drive strategy and act as a presence for the company in the technology world.
  • Michelle oversees the sales and operations teams whilst also working with the product and marketing teams.
  • Michelle has worked with some of the biggest technology companies, for example Uber, Facebook and Airbnb.
  • D.Local works with emerging consumers who are coming online and want to buy and so she gives them the capability.
  • The world of payments is very male focused as it's mostly bankers.
  • Michelle was the first woman on the payments team when she was a Facebook.
  • She believes that because of this it's important all women in Silicon Valley support each other.
  • Michelle sees that things have changed in the last 5 years and there has been an increase of women in the room.
  • Michelle was responsible for payments of Facebook messenger and she holds the patent, but a man got the credit. 
  • Michelle asks her team to each send her a weekly report of their achievements and the male/female divide is noticeable.
  • Women say "we" and men say "I".

"The no is already there. Try to go for the yes. Put your best foot forward. Take what you've learned and see how it translates into your next experience. Create a path for yourself."

Advice:

  • Let go of the mindset that you're not ready or prepared and just get started.
  • Take it as it comes.
  • Ask your team to report when they've accomplished something and "toot your horn"
  • Always note what you directly accomplished and what did you support in accomplishing.
  • If an opportunity comes up take it and don't second guess yourself.
  • If you don't know the answers then call someone. 
  • Use your network to accomplish what you want.
  • Don't underestimate yourself.
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