FinoComp Focus – Ashwini Shenoy & Thudani Hettimulla: Celebrating International Women’s Day

Mar 6, 2022

Thudani Hettimulla

(TH) I am a software engineer and a scrum master at FinoComp.  My role involves developing software as well as looking after the scrum team from the perspective of an agile scrum process.  The work that I do is focussed on the financial wealth management sector.

I am relatively new to FinoComp as well as to Australia! I moved to Australia just two years ago in January 2020.  I have been working in multiple software development roles for more than twelve years in a number of different countries, including Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.  We then decided to move to Australia and once here I was keen to find a job role that was suitable for my work experience. I came across FinoComp, loved the look of the business and quickly joined, I very much enjoy working here.

I have been here for eight months and love the culture. What attracted me most to the business was the tech stack and the wealth management domain. I work remotely all the time but when I first started the role the onboarding process was mostly fact to face, which was a really great way to get to know the business and meet people face to face.  When we were all forced to go to remote working due to the Covid restrictions, the shift process was very smooth.  I have been working remotely ever since and find it very effective.

(AS) I am the product owner for one of the teams here at FinoComp.  I have been here for seven months.  Prior to this I worked in various companies in the banking, telecoms, education and hospitality sectors.  I started my career as a main frame developer and then I gradually moved into business analysis, project management and now in the product development space.

I see a product owner as the intersection of business, user experience and technology.  The basic intent of a product owner is to represent the customer to the development team.  I have a great team over here and a key responsibility for me, as a product owner is to manage and give visibility to the prioritised list of requirements for future product development.

When I was looking for a new role, I saw the job advert for FinoComp and it included a picture of all the staff in the company.  This was not what I had seen in many of the other job descriptions, and I was intrigued.  I did some research and found that FinoComp was involved in the wealth management space which was a totally new domain for me.  The technology stack is also the best in the business which was also something that made the business attractive for me.


Ashwini Shenoy

What is the secret to building a successful team?

(AS) The key to managing a successful team is to have trust. You have to trust your team members to do the right thing.  Transparency and integrity are also key. As we have teams that are based in various locations, with some in Jamberoo, some in Wollongong and I am based in Victoria, we all need to understand each other’s strengths and limitations and manage our work life balance. Everyone has their family to look after, especially during this lockdown and having that trust and faith that your team is going to do the right thing is what has helped me and our team to  do so well in the last six months.

(TH) I would 100% agree with what Ashwini said, trust is really important and absolutely key to managing a successful team.  In addition, a key contributor to our team’s success has been effective communication and a “can do” attitude.  In our team everyone is very open to take up challenges and they always have that positive attitude which I believe goes a long way to driving successful outcomes.


With this week seeing us celebrate International Women’s Day, tell us about your experiences working in what has been traditionally quite a male dominated environment

(AS) When I first started it was just Thudani and myself were the only two women in the team, so it was a male dominated environment.   Over the last six months we have seen this shift and now our team is more evenly split.  This diversity has enabled us to have different opinions about topics, sometimes I notice a different way in how men and women approach a problem, or a challenge and it is great to have that diversity, which has really helped the team progress.

Being in this industry for a very long time it is great to see more women getting involved across all levels in this business. From what I can see it is becoming less male dominated, although we still have some way to go!


Tell us about your onboarding process

(AS) The onboarding process can be difficult especially when it is all done remotely. Our head of HR Leanne, went out of her way to make me feel comfortable, she had a very organised onboarding process. One of the most overwhelming parts of starting a new job is getting to know all the new faces and names, but Leanne made sure that the whole onboarding process was very smooth and effective.  FinoComp also went the extra mile by sending out welcome packs with goodies that we would have normally have access to when we are in the office.   They  also organised for Kudo boards with welcome messages that were signed by all the team members, this really made me feel welcome.  We also have a buddy system in place where you can ask questions and get support without always having to go directly to your line manager.  The whole onboarding process was excellent especially given all the restrictions that Covid brought.


What can business be doing to encourage women in our industry?

(AS) Flexibility can be key to help support work life balance, supporting the needs of your family along with those of your work.  During the recruitment process I am a believer that the role should be given to the best person for the job, but providing a supporting environment can help encourage the right people to apply.

I think reaching out to women’s groups too, to encourage more women to get into our field, can be helpful. Focussing on colleges and universities to see if we can encourage more women in to programming would also be helpful.

(TH) Many of the IT companies I have worked with in the past have been very male dominated, I was pleased to find FinoComp was far more diverse with a higher percentage of women in the teams. When I joined, it was lockdown and the business arranged special programmes for children including a fitness programme “Fino Fit Kids” which our children could join and do some exercise for half an hour.  There were also school holiday programs like a magic show, and a colouring competition. These types of programmes were so encouraging.

I see many female employees who joined as Finterns and then carried on their careers in the industry.  I think women are attracted to the culture and the flexibility and everyone is treated with respect and equality which is great.

(AS) There are a lot of wonderful things about working at FinoComp, the list is huge, but my favourite is the caring and positive work culture.  There is a culture of support and trust, helping each other and also having fun.  We have a fantastic team here with so many talented people and I am pleased to be part of that environment supporting women coming up through ranks wherever I can.