Jane Elliott knows first-hand that many women receive little, if any, mentoring in their careers.
Growing up in a blue-collar family in a small town in western New York, Elliott had no other professionals in her family to learn from.
"One of the reasons I am such an advocate for women is that I didn't receive any mentoring or encouragement in development early in my career," said Elliott, the executive vice president and chief of staff at Global Payments.
Despite this challenge, it is vital for women to find a way to build their confidence and leadership skills, she said, pointing to groups like Women Networking in Electronic Transactions as key resources for promoting and mentoring women throughout their careers.
"Down the road on this journey, after having been made a vice president, my career stagnated," Elliott said. "I realized I had become the status quo and was lacking the leadership skills necessary to take me to the next level."
She found a "trial and error" method to help her advance. Thus, it is no surprise that she considers her current executive position at Global Payments, which she began in November of 2013, as the proudest moment in her career.
"I realized that if you want more, you have to constantly look for new tasks and new areas to be involved and learn new skills," Elliott said, "all while making yourself a little uncomfortable in the process."
Elliott feels Global Payments is in a perfect position to play a major role in payments innovation, which she calls the biggest industry development in the coming year.
As merchants seek new technology to offer customers and want to embrace the new commerce of connected devices, Global Payments has "responded by investing in new solutions and replicating technology-enabled distribution and services in our markets around the world," Elliott said.
Global Payments customers want cross-border functionality, flexible and customized reporting solutions and the ability to accept any form of payment from any point of interaction around the world, she added. "In 2016, I believe we will continue to see more solutions that are paired with payments."
Outside of her more than 20 years in the payments industry, Elliott said she has tried to guide her children to experiences with different people and cultures, two things she wasn't exposed to in her own childhood.
"When they were young, I did this through participation in different cultural events and museums and later, as the kids grew, we were fortunate to travel and experience different cultures firsthand," Elliott said.
Prior to joining Global Payments, Elliott worked at First Data for nine years. She held numerous positions including financial planning and analysis, and SEC reporting in both Georgia and Nebraska before becoming senior director of investor relations.
She started her career with Laventhol & Horwath certified public accountants in New York City, receiving her CPA.