Wanita Fonseka – a woman’s journey at Meridian
Meet Wanita Fonseka, Meridian’s SVP Retail and Operations
Wanita Fonseka is Meridian’s Senior Vice President Retail and Operations, focused on enhancing our retail Member service experience. Wanita’s career with us began more than 25 years ago when she joined Meridian as a Member Services Representative. “I came across the job posting at the University of Toronto Career Centre,” says Wanita. “When I joined, I didn’t know much about credit unions or how they were different from banks. I was simply in search of a part-time job to help pay for university, but over time I became inspired by the opportunity to truly help people. Helping Members succeed as I, too, continued to learn and grow, was a win-win.”
Wanita was excited by the opportunities she was given to work at many of our retail branches as she began to grow her career. She eagerly took advantage of the many tuition programs available to her as an employee. She advanced her education by obtaining her Financial Planning Designation, Canadian Securities Course and her MBA in Financial Services through Dalhousie University. “I was fortunate to be selected to participate in the Management Development Program, allowing me to work in multiple locations and perform a wide range of activities alongside existing managers.” She also had the chance to meet with her Manager Once Removed each year to discuss career objectives and goals.
“No single person inspired me to grow my career at Meridian. I was fortunate to have great managers along my journey that challenged my thinking, always believing that I could do more by stepping out of my comfort zone. Having leaders that truly went deep into understanding my potential encouraged me to stay and continue my career.”
Wanita believes there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you stay focused on your long-term vision. “You’ll progress daily, whether connecting with one new person or looking for ways to learn and grow. Take courses, shadow others and form relationships. And don’t be afraid to have more than one mentor; different people offer different gifts. One mentor could help you with networking while another can educate you on the various roles within a department you may be interested in.” She’s keen to inspire and lead other women looking to advance their careers at Meridian.