Temiloluwa Oyetayo: ‘Women in tech overcompensate and it can be a burden’

Onyinye Okonkwo
I have learned so much more working in a startup in such a short while – Temiloluwa Oyetayo
Women in tech interview with technext
Women in tech interview

Temiloluwa Oyetayo graduated with an M.Sc in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and now has years of experience in marketing, social media strategy, and brand management. Her experience in tech is a new one.

But, Temiloluwa also has experience with startup companies – from fintech to logistics tech. She also mentors young women starting in entry-level marketing roles.

Start of her tech career

Temiloluwa never really tried to work in a tech company. Her career has just revolved around tech. 

When I left school, I started working in a PR firm. I left, worked somewhere else, and then went for my master’s in the UK and got a job as a marketing associate in a fintech company, Verto FX, which marked the beginning of my journey in the tech space. After my master’s, I came back to Nigeria and got a job at Gokada, a logistics tech company via Twitter.

Temiloluwa Oyetayo

After working at Gokada for about six months, Temi needed a change and a relative shared a job opening at Brass Business, a fintech company with the sole focus of providing payment solutions to only businesses. 

Temi is currently the product marketing and communication lead at Brass. She believes a position in a startup is best suited to her as opposed to the traditional companies with the supposed structure she thought she needed and was applying to in the course of her job search.

“When I was done with my master’s, the jobs I was applying to weren’t even tech, I was applying to traditional 9-5 companies. I wasn’t even thinking of tech and now that I am in it, I realise that those companies I thought had structure weren’t for me, it wouldn’t have been a good fit.”

Temiloluwa Oyetayo
Oyetayo is the head of Product marketing and Communications at Brass Business. Photo source: LinkedIn

Why working in tech is perfect for Temiloluwa Oyetayo

Even though working in tech was never in Temiloluwa’s plans, she has since discovered it is perfect for her for many reasons.

“I consider the fact that I have the opportunity to work from home a blessing. Also, I have learned so much more working in a startup in such a short while. The things I have learnt in just a few years working in a startup have been so much more than I would have ever been able to learn working in a traditional company where you have to go from level to level. I am also putting the things I learn into practice which is a plus.” 

Temiloluwa’s thoughts on the Fintech space

Temi doesn’t believe that the fintech space is oversaturated. She believes that having as many fintechs as possible, and solving different problems in the ecosystem breaks the monopoly some companies have over particular services.

“I do not think the fintech space is oversaturated, and I’ll give you an example with Brass. We focus on providing financial services for businesses, and I do not know commercial banks that focus on businesses the same way. I feel like everyone is solving different problems. I use both CowryWise and PiggyVest. Someone might say they provide the same options, but I like that I have an option to choose from; I use one for targeted savings and the other for group savings. 

“I think the problem with the fintech space is that there is just so much focus on it now. Very much like it was with oil back when it was just discovered, and the economic possibilities in it were exciting. What I have observed, however, is that some of these founders and companies who come into the fintech space out of greed or for the money and do not offer any solution often die out in five years. Even if they can raise the first round of funds, they usually blow through the money because they have nothing substantial to offer.”

She believes that while there are a few rogue players, there are other genuine fintech startups who are working to provide solutions to the myriad of problems existing in the African continent. 

“We have a lot of problems in Nigeria, and Africa at large, so if we can have as many people as possible trying to provide solutions then I am grateful for that. I read a tweet not too long ago of someone who was able to buy electricity units at 1:30 am, that is an amazing solution right there, because there was a time this wasn’t possible.”

Observations and experience as a woman in tech

Temiloluwa Oyetayo says she has been blessed with the kind of management she has worked with. She, however, has observed that as a woman in tech, women tend to overcompensate. 

“I have observed that women tend to overcompensate. I always say it, my female colleagues as well, we work ten times harder than the men. As women we are always so dependable, you can count on us to finish our jobs. We always put in a 110% per cent and it can be a burden. There is this feeling like I always have to show that I am equal to the task and better than my male counterparts, and it’s one I don’t like as a woman in tech.”

Temiloluwa adds that “women are in the minority, so navigating that, ensuring you are in a safe space can be a struggle and then trying to meet mentors which are mostly men. You have to be extra careful in approaching these male mentors.”

Women in tech interview with Technext
“I mentor women and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do that because I never had that when I started,” Oyetayo said.

What Temiloluwa Oyetayo will like to see more of as a woman in tech 

Temiloluwa says she would like to see more female mentors.

“Having female mentors would be great. Let us find the balance, it will be nice to have a woman to speak to as a mentor and a man, just having that option and then decide which one you would prefer to go with. I currently have two male mentors I always seek advice from on product management and they are fantastic at their jobs, I sometimes just feel a female mentor will get it more as she has a personal experience of the intricacies of navigating the tech space as a woman.”

Advice for prospective women in tech

I mentor women and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do that because I never had that when I started. When I mentor women, my advice to them is always just to learn. What I did in my first few months was to consume a lot of educational materials. I took courses, I read so many books, and I asked many questions.

Temiloluwa Oyetayo

What the future holds for Temiloluwa Oyetayo

Temi has no idea exactly where she will be in five years, but she is certain that her trajectory is great and forward moving. She is confident that she would have grown immensely and will be in a better position.

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