Melissa Fuller discusses her role as a Partner and Head of Corporate Services at Novigi.
What is your role at Novigi?
As Head of Corporate Services I’m responsible for the marketing, HR, finance, legal and compliance functions of Novigi. The Corporate Services team is really a shared service for the business – it’s our job to make sure that everyone in the business is well supported and has what they need to do a great job.
What are you most looking forward to Novigi achieving this year?
With a focus on developing our marketing and engagement capability, we’re already seeing a huge uplift in our outbound activity so I’m looking forward to seeing our brand and reputation grow and the positive impact this will have on our business.
How has technology helped you in your role?
Having a flexible platform that enables us to work from anywhere means that I can visit all of our offices, including Colombo, Sri Lanka relatively easily (before Covid of course!) and spend valuable face-to-face time with the various teams. Technology has also helped me to build a whole range of reports that provide really important insights into how Novigi is performing and enable really informed decision making.
What do you think is the most important thing to consider when operating a workplace with remote working teams?
I think it is important to maintain a strong company culture and to continue to collaborate well as a team.
How do you manage working across different countries, cultures and time zones with Novigi’s offshore capabilities?
We have flexible working conditions so that teams can work effectively across the time zones – we don’t have a “9-to-5” mentality which helps with the 4-5 hours time difference between Australia and Sri Lanka. We encourage employees to learn about and respect the cultural differences between our two countries and we celebrate each other’s important cultural events. We have a monthly whole of company update where we share a wide range of information about what is happening at Novigi. All of these things help to create “one” company.
What do you think is the most important thing in building a diverse workplace?
Removing unconscious bias from the recruiting function and promotion decisions. Building an inclusive culture and providing equal opportunity for all employees.
What’s your advice for other women aiming for leadership positions?
Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself and take on opportunities that you might not necessarily feel qualified for. Research shows that males will apply for roles where they only meet say, 70% of the required criteria, whereas females won’t apply for roles where they only meet 90% of the required criteria. This needs to change!!
How do you hope to implement your previous career focus on female retirement advocacy as an executive at Novigi?
Raising awareness at Novigi of the challenges women face in saving adequately for retirement is important to me. I’d like to introduce an educational program for all employees (it’s just as important for men to understand the challenges as they all have mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties etc.) and arm them with tactics they themselves or their friends and relatives can use to improve retirement outcomes.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Obviously I will still be a Partner at Novigi!! In 5 years time I’d hope to have a larger team to support a larger Novigi! I’m excited to see my team grow and develop – I hope to see each of them excelling in their roles with increased responsibilities.
What do you enjoy doing on the weekends?
Hanging out with my kids (although this is happening less and less as they get older and I become less cool!!), walking while listening to podcasts – often a couple of hours at a time – and catching up with friends over dinner and drinks.
What is an interesting fact (or two) about you?
I did competitive physie (physical culture) which is a cross between ballet, gymnastics and jazz dancing from the ages of 3 to 18 and was State Champion when I was 14 years old.
Melissa was a State Champion of physie (physical culture)
Melissa enjoys spending time with her children on weekends
Melissa Fuller is a Partner and Head of Corporate Services at Novigi.
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