Colleen Taylor, Mastercard

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To successfully create new payment forms and uses, it’s critical to have a highly functioning team developing and promoting their ideas — something Colleen Taylor has fully embraced at Mastercard.

“The hallmarks of a great team are the spirit of generosity, the sense of sharing and a common sense of purpose,” Taylor said. “And, to create that, wins need to be collectively celebrated and failures collectively owned.”

Taylor, an executive vice president at Mastercard and one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2019, firmly believes that that it’s important as a leader to get folks excited about the prospects of winning. The process of getting a team excited about winning creates a common goal and serves as a reminder of the group's purpose. It gets the team motivated about the journey and opportunity toward development, both as a team and as individuals.

The source of Taylor’s motivation is twofold. First is the desire to be the best at something and secondly, it’s a strong desire to learn new things.

“I came from big family so it was always competitive. It drove me to the best in whatever I was doing. I wanted to be the best Auntie, the best friend and when I entered the workforce it was to be the best treasurer,” said Taylor. Her career includes executive roles at JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo, The Clearing House, Nacha, Capital One and now at Mastercard. Taylor is also member of the board of trustees at Spelman College, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Her desire to learn is influenced, at least partially, by her love of travel, which she picked up from her dad serving in the military overseas.

“I have a passion for learning about a new country, its culture and people. I’ve been doing Rosetta Stone to learn French,” Taylor said. She pointed out that we are all global citizens so it behooves us to learn about other cultures and communities in order to be more accepting and inclusive.

To attract more women into the payments industry, Taylor said that it’s critical that companies get better at telling their story.

“Talk about the problems you are solving for and not what you are doing," she said. "For example, the story is about creating new payment forms and uses. It’s not about becoming a coder or developer.”

In terms of advice to women, Taylor offered the following: “Have fun every day. Engage in relationships to get to know people. Then leverage those relationships to advance yourself. By having fun and developing connections, it will allow for a very diverse career and meeting interesting people.”

Taylor encourages women take advantage of the nexus of technology and social apps, since they make it easier for women to advise and serve as thought leaders. “Women should ... also bring their voices into new areas and help shape them for the future,” she said.


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