Rashmi Baijnath

“It’s about empowering everyone in the organisation to be able to understand the financial information so that they are able to use it to make better decisions.”

A finance manager, a chartered account, a CFO; profit, not-for-profit, government –   accounting was all Rashmi did since graduating. Until she started as a Finance Manager at Fitted for Work. Now on any given day she could be attending a function on sexual harassment in the workplace, talking to someone experiencing disadvantage, helping set up donor lunches, or playing in a street soccer tournament with her colleagues and clients. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

After 14 years of building and finessing her accounting career, then taking time off to have her daughter, Rashmi realised she didn’t want to go back to a comfortable position with a large corporation. Instead, she wanted to apply her skills where they were needed. “I thought about the long hours, about not really being able to see the benefits of what you are doing in your role. Whereas here, every time someone walks in the door when they leave they are all smiles. It’s almost like an instant benefit of why you are here.”

In terms of creating meaning in her career and making her feel differently about her day to day work, being part of the organisation exceeded Rashmi’s expectation. It’s also been a great reminder to appreciate what one has. “When you see people coming in, carrying all their possessions in the world in a plastic bag, you are not going to go home and complain about what you don’t have.”

Like her colleagues, Rashmi has always been driven by the desire to help.  “It’s good to give back where you can. It’s not all about giving money. Sometimes it’s being able to talk to someone, to share your experience and time. You do whatever is needed.”

That drive has influenced Rashmi’s approach to work and made her ‘an inclusive accountant.’ She has always been told she is not a typical finance manager, but someone people feel comfortable talking to and asking questions.  “I see my role as making the financial information accessible and meaningful to others.”

Rashmi feels her unique contribution to Fitted for Work is teaching the team financial literacy, and how what they do relates back to the business. “It’s about empowering everyone in the organisation to be able to understand the financial information so that they are able to use it to make better decisions.”

 

This profile was written by Natalia Tsygankova.