CloudBees’ Financial Honeycomb
Meet Stephanie Pai, director of finance in Switzerland
Originally from California – the home of Silicon Valley – Stephanie Pai says that working in the tech industry is in her blood. Although she didn’t pursue an engineering career, she’s found a home on the finance side of tech, where she once worked for a company that audited CloudBees’ financial books.
A few years later, Stephanie joined CloudBees and earlier this year she became our director of finance and accounting. "I never expected to work for the company I was in charge of auditing,” Stephanie laughs.
While she admits finance isn’t the sexiest job, there’s a lot more to the job than meets the eye. "At the end of the day, finance may just be a bunch of debits and credits. But what makes it interesting is translating all that technical talk for the average person. How do you bring complex financial statements down to earth in a more manageable language?” What Stephanie loves about finance is that she can act as a bridge between investors and all the obscure financial jargon.
Even when she was working as an external auditor, Stephanie could feel the "one-team” spirit that permeated CloudBees. "Even though we are all working in different parts of the globe, at the end of the day we are all one family striving for the same goal – our ‘queen bee.’ Everybody has to work together to get to it, even if we’re in different time zones.”
It’s not usual, she says, for her team members to stay up late to make sure our reps – whether they’re on the West Coast or Australia – are being served. It’s all about thinking holistically, Stephanie says. "If we don’t have this one-team value, it’s not going to work. We’re not going to be adding value to the company.”
Above all, thinking holistically means putting others above herself, Stephanie says. When she saw how the pandemic weighed on employees mentally and emotionally, Stephanie went above and beyond as a leader. "As managers, we have to learn to carry – and care about – our team members even more.” Which is why she’s implemented one-on-one meetings – virtually or in-person – with all her team members, no matter their title.
Just because finance is known as a "back-office job,” doesn’t mean it’s not critical to the business, Stephanie says. If CloudBees is one big “hive,” Stephanie likes to think of finance as its honeycombs. “I’m hoping people realize that finance is really the structure of the CloudBees hive. If you don’t structure your finances, you don’t have the language or the vehicle to talk to customers and investors, to manage sales the right way, and to make solid decisions.”
Like the honeycomb supports its Bees, so does Stephanie. "We’re not the ones going out there and selling but who are we serving? We are serving all the Bees.” Dealing with things like payroll and commission problems, Stephanie makes sure administrative tasks are done correctly so the Bees can focus on customer-facing work. "If we can relieve the other distractions for our Bees then we are serving our customers indirectly.”
One thing Stephanie makes very clear: She couldn’t do what she does all by herself. Just like a hive consists of a collection of honeycombs, Stephanie’s team is an integral part of the larger CloudBees community. "Without them, the hive just wouldn’t be as strong.”
We are looking for new-bees to join the hive today: https://www.cloudbees.com/careers
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