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Stashka Lepera

Stashka Lepera is the kind of person who gets up at dawn to go horseback riding before channeling that joy into her work. Below, Stashka shares about her path to a dream role, the thrill of not being the only woman in the room, and how Pure empowers her to have maximum impact.

"After 20 years in Tech, I Found My Dream Job at Pure"

What’s a typical day for you at Pure?

There is no typical day—and that’s why I’m excited to go to work every morning. I might be training on a new technology to share information with our teams or jumping on customer calls. On the enablement side, I’m part evangelist—storytelling and presentations are my favorite things to do. I help create new ways to engage our core teams to get them excited about selling our products and connecting with customers. I also work closely with our product management teams to make sure learnings from the field are relayed back to our engineers. It’s sort of like I’m riding a unicycle, juggling flaming torches, and playing a bagpipe—all at the same time.

Tell us about your journey to Pure?

I was a pre-sales systems engineer for 20 years. I worked at a series of companies—most recently Qumulo and NetApp—and I thrived in those positions. But after developing my skills as far as I could in those roles, I wanted a new challenge—a role that would require a different skill set. Pure presented me with this principal engineer position, which turned out to be my dream role. The magic of it is that Pure lets me do what I do best and frees me from the components I wanted to get away from, which means I’m fully engaged and can have maximum impact.

You’ve had extensive experience in the sales engineering world. What distinguishes Pure?

Before Pure, I was used to being the only woman in the room. But here, there are more women SEs than I’ve ever seen in one company. I was thrilled to find so many like-minded female engineers with shared experiences and career paths, along with highly visible women in C-level and VP roles. 

I recently brought my whole family to Mountain View for boot camp, where my daughters saw me give a presentation in front of a huge crowd. Then we brought them to HQ for Pure Kids Day and they met my female colleagues in diverse roles, from data scientists to executives. My daughters were meeting intelligent, strong, powerful women who influence this company every day. 

From day one, Pure has been clear that family comes first. Once, I was asked to fly in for a presentation, and I said that it was my daughter’s birthday; the person didn’t hesitate to say, “No problem. We’ll get someone else. Enjoy the day.” That kind of support is huge for a career mom like me. It's the first time I feel like I don’t have to apologize for having a family.

Also, I truly believe that FlashBlade is a pioneering product, unique in a space of carbon copies. While many companies reinvent the wheel, it’s just a fancier wheel. Pure figured out a way to do things without even needing the wheel. It’s a truly different technology that enables customers to do things they’ve never done before.

Where do you find opportunities to mentor others?

I don’t have direct reports, but I work with several teams on a daily basis. People need champions, colleagues who can mentor and provide guidance. I care deeply for the people around me, and helping them find success is one of the most important things I do.

When new hires come in, I tell them to set aside the way they’ve done things before or the stories they’ve created about the industry, themselves, or other people. I suggest that they look at Pure as an opportunity to do something totally new. If you have the grit, determination, and ability to carve out the path you want, Pure will support you. You have to be open to others’ advice and make sure you’re on the right track. But if you’re willing to take the opportunity, be a little uncomfortable, and put yourself out there, anything is possible.

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