• Cass Polzin

Women in Tech to Women of OneStream: Inspiring Female Leaders


This article is part of our Women in Partnerships series, highlighting female professionals in the partnerships space. To learn more about the series and the Women in Partnerships group, check out the series intro.


OneStream Software, a leader in corporate performance management (CPM) solutions, reached unicorn status last year, ten years after beginning as a Michigan-based startup. In that time, they’ve grown their ecosystem to include more than 700 customers, 200 implementation partners, and over 800 employees. Today, Stephanie Cramp, Senior Vice President of Global Alliances at OneStream, joins us to discuss her career, empowering female professionals, and advice for others in the industry.


Landing in Partnerships After Twenty Years in Tech

Stephanie Cramp has been in technology for two decades, working in different functions in the industry. Prior to leading global alliances, she also spent time in sales and consulting with software firms throughout the country. Her experience has enabled her to generate success in the entire alliances lifecycle. Stephanie explained, “Alliances is very much about helping your partners succeed, from opening doors, finding the right opportunities, applying the right skill set to closing the deal, and using relationship skills to continue to grow the partnership.”


While the industry has its challenges, especially during the COVID pandemic, Stephanie loves that it's a people business. “It's not just about who you know, but also working with newcomers in the market and enabling them for success. I have a healthy mix of partners coming into my sphere that I already know, as well as new partner companies that are a few degrees separated from me. We have a strong and healthy partner ecosystem that I can gauge where we will have the greatest impact.”


All of Stephanie’s experiences have helped her grow a best-in-class alliances team. “I’m on a rocket ride of growth right now and I have built a team for world-class success. I have built my practice from scratch — writing the very first sentence of the OneStream partner playbook, to now having 23 of the strongest alliance members on my team.”


Founding Women in Tech

The proudest achievement of Stephanie’s career is starting Women in Tech Leadership back in 2015 . “It grew out of the fact that women in tech weren't putting themselves out there enough or understanding that journey. We built Women in Tech Leadership to lead, learn, and connect. We had 40 people attend the very first event, then had over 1,200 people come through the program. I wasn't sure what I was doing in the beginning but knowing there was a need for this type of program I jumped in with both feet. The camaraderie, respect, and network have been amazing.”


When Stephanie started at OneStream, she had to take a step back from Women in Tech Leadership as she didn’t have the time available to continue to grow the group. “I had to find a great woman with drive, passion, and the availability to take it over. It was a very hard decision and I knew I would miss it, but the group was flourishing and needed someone who could continue the charge. Eventually, as I settled into my role at OneStream I knew I wanted to start another movement with women, but keep it focused internally. It took a few years but I worked with a few other leaders at OneStream to build Women of OneStream, or as we call it WOO. The group has quickly grown and we have started connecting with other women leadership groups through our partner community.”


Understanding the Trade-offs of Being a Female Executive

Stephanie is a confident seasoned leader. Starting her career in sales when it was predominantly male-dominated never phased her. “I never saw myself as different. Most of my career was in a sales role and I had a quota that I needed to meet. I wasn't looked over or looked upon as inferior because I made my reality. Perhaps in operations or other roles that would be a very different story.”


That changed a bit when Stephanie started her family. “Where I didn't feel equal was when I decided to start a family. I felt in order to be equal I had to make some tradeoffs about going home with my child or going to play golf with the guys. If there was a last-minute travel need, I had thousands of things I needed to do first before it could happen.”


When making decisions, Stephanie has to think about the impact not just for herself, but her family too. “I knew early on as a mother I was better as a person working than as a stay-at-home mom. I never felt it was within my personality to not be able to manage both. I was always going to care for my child, but I'm a better person when I'm doing what I love AND being a mom. At the end of the day, no matter if you have the best husband in the world, you’re still the mom and the primary caretaker. You will always be the first call.”


The Impact of Mentors on Stephanie’s Career

Surprisingly, Stephanie didn’t have many female mentors in her orbit earlier in her career. “Women mentors have come into my life later. When I was one or two rungs away from a leadership role, I started meeting more and more women who believed in me and embraced me. Early on in my career, there were very few women on my path but the men who were my sponsors were exceptional. They really helped me grab a hold of what I wanted. The mentality was to go for it, embrace it, and don’t worry about what you don't have, worry about what you need to find. I think on average men say go for it easier than women. Women want to get more skills and or experience before they take that first step. It’s just a difference in the approach. It’s great that women have come into my life later as they have sincerely shaped my thinking as a leader.”


Take the First Step

Stephanie had a key piece of advice for any woman in the industry. “Go for it! Just go for it. Half the battle is getting started. I have a mantra that I use — It's be brave, not perfect. I think women have a tendency to overthink it. Take that first step and then make it perfect along the way. You've got to embrace that you're not perfect, you don't know everything, and you can always improve. Just do a damn good job.”


Stephanie enjoys sharing her story and elevating the real experiences of women in the industry. “When we start creating the falsehoods of perfection - it makes it harder to climb those rungs. We become our own worst enemy. My job has always been to lead, learn, connect, and inspire. I met some great people along the way and they drive me to be open about my journey.”


For more inspiration for your own career, dig into more interviews with stellar female partnership professionals and follow us on LinkedIn. Know a great woman in partnerships we should highlight? Let us know!