Culture

Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Melissa Balentine on Professional Growth and the Evolution of Zscaler

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re recognizing influential and powerful women at Zscaler who have made a significant impact within their careers, teams, and on the Zscaler family as a whole.

Melissa Balentine, Senior Vice President, Finance has been with Zscaler for more than five years. In that time, she’s seen Zscaler grow and go IPO and has honed her professional skills to make a difference and find fulfillment within the company.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

A: Going through the IPO process at Zscaler, and the ultimate public offering, was one of the most important projects in my career. Having built internal reporting to support being a public company, I got the opportunity to see firsthand how this information is shared and used by the outside analysts who would eventually value Zscaler. Having all of this preparation leading up to the day we listed the stock, and to be in NYC for the big event, was exhilarating.

Q: What is one of the most valuable skills that helped you get to the role you have today?

A: Executive presence. As I’ve grown in my career, the ability to project confidence through effective communication and presentation skills has become more critical. I work to “read the room” when I host meetings to be sure my message is understood.

Additionally, one of the most valuable skills I have honed is complex financial modeling. I spend time researching modeling inputs and understanding their relative impact on the financial results of the company. The models I build can be very large and cumbersome. What I’ve learned is building the model is only half of the work; the other half is taking the result and simplifying the message to be easily understood and explained. 

It isn’t necessary to show all of the steps and analysis, but instead to draw clear, concise conclusions allowing executives to digest and act. This step takes as much effort as building the model itself and is equally important. With this skill, I have the tools to not only prove out certain trends and theories through financial modeling, but also the ability to enable key decision making based on the modeling results.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?

A: I like to unwind by working out, from my early morning workouts on my Stairmaster to local hikes on weekends. I also enjoy reading–mostly historical fiction. Since the shelter-in-place orders, I have enjoyed watching home renovation shows.

For more about how Zscaler is celebrating International Women's Day and Women's History Month, read this blog: Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day.

Further reading:

Celebrating Women at Zscaler: How Jey Govindan Empowers Future Generations of Women in Tech

Celebrating Women at Zscaler: Sandi Lurie and Karen Mayerik

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