Celebrating Women in Product: Meet the Powerhouses Driving Innovation at AskNicely

AskNicely Team

He aha te mea nui o te ao?

He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. 

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.


(Māori proverb)

At AskNicely, we believe in the power of diversity and the strength it brings to our team. Today, we take a closer look at the trailblazers shaping the future of AskNicely – Simona Turin, Lena Hesselgrave, Maya Ashizumi Munn, Yna Ojeda, and Daria Kashirskaya.

Simona Turin - Chief Product and Experience Officer

Simona Turin, AskNicely's Chief Product and Experience Officer, is a force to be reckoned with in the world of tech. Fluent in four languages and boasting a diverse background that includes a stint as a combat sergeant and an analyst-turned-engineer on Wall Street, Simona's journey is as unique as it is inspiring.

Over the past 12 years in New Zealand, Simona has held leadership roles in prominent companies such as Spark, Fidelity Life, Air New Zealand, and Xero, where she served as the Executive General Manager of Business Products. In her current role, Simona combines product management, design, engineering, and customer success, steering the product vision and creating alignment across the entire customer journey. Her passion for breaking the script to innovate, leading game-changing products, and delivering exceptional customer experiences shines through in her every endeavor.

Read more about Simona's journey here, and connect with her on LinkedIn here

Lena Hesselgrave - Head of Product Marketing

As the Head of Product Marketing at AskNicely, Lena Hesselgrave brings over a decade of experience in technology for New Zealand-founded companies with global ambitions. Lena previously worked as a Senior Product Manager for Xero, where she played a pivotal role in shaping the product direction throughout her eight years with the company. 

Lena also spent 6 years working in Sydney, with a period in Asia studying at the National University of Singapore on a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia. 

Lena's role at AskNicely is highly cross-functional, requiring close collaboration with teams across the organization. From product and design to engineering, sales, growth marketing, customer success, and executive management, Lena ensures alignment in how AskNicely's product is positioned to customers. 

Beyond the tech world, Lena is a talented pianist, a self-proclaimed book nerd, and an avid trail runner and tennis player.

Connect with Lena here. 

Maya Ashizumi Munn - Front-End Engineer

Maya Ashizumi Munn is a seasoned front-end engineer at AskNicely. With a laser focus on crafting seamless and intuitive user interfaces for both web and mobile applications, Maya has played a pivotal role in enhancing the overall user experience for AskNicely's diverse clientele.

“One of the highlights of my work is translating the exceptional user interface designs from our talented design team into practical solutions for our customers to utilize and enjoy.” she says. 

Before joining AskNicely, Maya earned her Bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Sciences from Auckland University of Technology, and worked as a full-stack  engineer at another New Zealand-based SaaS startup. 

Maya not only brings a unique skillset to the team, but a bubbly personality that radiates what it means to Live in the Purple. 

Yna Ojeda - Software Engineer Intern

Yna Ojeda, a rising star at AskNicely, joined as a software engineer intern, bringing a fresh perspective and passion for coding. With a computer science degree obtained in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yna's journey has been marked by resilience and continuous growth.

In her current role, Yna works closely with mentors and senior team members, contributing not only to programming tasks but also actively participating in collaborative activities across departments. 

“Being in an agile environment that greatly values giving and receiving feedback, I am in a lucky position to develop both hard and soft skills through not just programming tasks but also through peer sessions and other collaborative activities across departments as well.” she says. 

We look forward to watching Yna soar through the ranks, continuing to make significant contributions to the dynamic world of software engineering.

Daria Kashirskaya - Product Design Intern

Daria Kashirskaya, AskNicely's Product Design Intern, brings a diverse background to the table. Born in Russia and now residing in New Zealand for a decade, Daria holds a Master of User Experience Design degree from Victoria University. Her journey includes roles in journalism, hospitality, health insurance, and tertiary education.

Currently supporting the product team in redesigning the web app, Daria's multifaceted experiences contribute to a fresh perspective on design. Outside of work, you’ll find Daria parked up at a local coffee shop, road tripping through the beautiful sights of New Zealand and hosting movie nights. 

As we celebrate these exceptional women at AskNicely, we embrace the power of diversity, recognizing that it is the people who drive innovation, shape cultures, and propel organizations to new heights. We’re incredibly proud and lucky to have these five women shaping the future of AskNicely. 

Want to Join the Team? 

Find your dream job at AskNicely and help us build the future of frontline work.

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

AskNicely Team
About the author

AskNicely Team

Ready to take action on customer experience?

Book a Demo >