Alexis Fleckenstein recently joined Clockwise as our Head of People Ops. We recently spoke with Alexis about what growing up queer in a conservative family taught her about equity and inclusion. We also discussed what drew Alexis to Clockwise. Plus, her dogs, new house, and studying for her MA in Clinical Psychology.
The journey to Clockwise
After studying English in college, Alexis bounced around a bit. “I really had no idea what I wanted to do,” she told me. After some job-hopping and a stint at Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), Alexis decided to follow friends to a new city.
“Even though my family was my family, I felt I hadn’t found my people yet,” Alexis told me. “I grew up in a really conservative family with extremely conservative ideas about gender roles and homosexuality. I knew I’d have to build a new network of chosen family that could see me for who I am and embrace that.”
In San Francisco, she found belonging. She also found a staffing contractor role at Google. “I quickly realized staffing was not for me,” she said. Alexis found success as an HR business partner. “My post-collegiate existential crisis taught me what was important to me in life: Being surrounded with great people, having a positive impact on others, being able to do a wide variety of different things, and having some creativity to my role. That made HR a good fit.”
“Google is a great place to grow up professionally. They're always doing so many cool things from an HR perspective. Google taught me how to work with a high level of integrity and while centering doing the right thing for employees, managers, leadership, and the business. And how important it is to learn how to walk that line and really be a principled leader.”
First, Alexis consulted for our CEO Matt and our COO Alex. “They were very principled leaders who wanted to do the right thing. I could tell they genuinely cared about the team. The biggest thing that attracted me to Clockwise was feeling like I could work on making this a really great place to work and a really effective, equitable team where people are engaged and care about their work.”
“Google taught me that people are inherently good and want to do the right thing,” Alexis said. But incentives matter. “Often the most well-intentioned systems can lead to things that are unfair and subjective.”
“I was always the super tall, fat, awkward, queer kid who like never really felt like I belonged,” Alexis said. “That made me passionate about bringing people on the outside to the inside when I'm in a group. It’s made me care about fairness and making sure everybody has the opportunity to belong and feel like they’re part of the team. That's brought a big portion of the meaning to my work.”
“At Google, I learned how to build equitable systems and structures. I learned how important it is to try to stand up for doing the right thing, making things as objective as possible, and advocating for people and things that are important to me. That’s the sort of culture that I want to help continue to build at Clockwise.”
After I shared a story about my sister coming out to our Southern Baptist family and getting married with everyone there to support her, Alexis shared one more story.
“One unexpected perk of being different is that people have opportunities to surprise you,” Alexis said. “Of everyone, I was most worried about what my grandfather would think. And then he was the best. He was so accepting and loving. It was this surprise I never expected. It's always great when people can surprise you and adapt and evolve over time. And that's kind of part of HR too. You get to see those transformations and evolutions.”
“Being able to help someone through a difficult time or career transition, helping a manager and employee work better together, connecting someone to really valuable resources at a really critical moment, I think just caring about people and wanting people to thrive both in work and in life is really important to me.”
Alexis off the Clock(wise)
“My partner and I just bought a house in Nevada City, California. We moved out of the city sort of at the tail end of the pandemic. We are adapting to life in the woods. We have two dogs, Stevie and Tucker. I enjoy being with my community, being with friends. I love to cook. One of the biggest perks of moving out of the San Francisco apartment is a bigger kitchen, being able to have people over and spend time with loved ones and have a bit more space.”
“I am very interested in the reasons people do what they do and how people do actually achieve meaningful transformation. I'm actually working on a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. That definitely takes up a fair amount of time outside of work. It’s bringing me a lot of joy right now.”
“I think my happy place these days is walking in the woods with the dogs, maybe with a good cup of coffee.”
Interested in working with Alexis and our People Ops team? We’re currently looking for our next