#HERpower with Temitayo from Exalate

#HERpower with Temitayo from Exalate

The #HERPower campaign spotlights the remarkable women who drive the tech industry forward.

Get inspired by the women who inspire us!

In this edition, meet Temitayo, our Junior Operations Manager.

Tayo, as we fondly call her, not only excels in her role but keeps everything in tune and on time with all of the tools we use for our day-to-day work.

In this conversation, Tayo takes us through her Nigerian heritage, her career journey, and how she discovered where she wanted to be with Exalate.


Temitayo (Odunayo) A. is a growth operations professional, particularly invested in CRM systems and how they impact business decisions and drive growth. She is Nigerian, Christian, and married with twin daughters. She currently works as a Junior Operations Manager at Exalate.

She has recently penned a book titled Early Bird: Tales and Tips from a Preemie Mom. This heartfelt book chronicles her journey as a mother of premature twins, sharing insightful tales and invaluable tips for navigating the challenges of preemie parenthood. You can find her book on Amazon and here

The Conversation

Question: Welcome to the interview Tayo. It’s very nice to have you here! Can you please introduce yourself? 

Temitayo: My name is Tayo. I work as part of the Operations team as a Growth Operations Administrator. 

I assist the operation with the tools that we use in our work. For example, we have HubSpot, where the sales team and the marketing team are all interested in seeing what’s going on with the deals that are coming in. What I do is handle those tasks to ensure that every detail is put in correctly, particularly when it comes to HubSpot, because that’s the number one tool for recording sales and pursuing deals, and we want to really have great insights into what’s happening with our sales. And because human beings always make mistakes, somebody has to be on track to check what’s happening and ensure everybody’s doing the right thing with those tools. 

 I also work partially on the pre-sales team. They use Jira to handle every demo and deal, so I ensure that they’re putting in the right details on all of their epics. I also help in creating reports and spreadsheets, particularly doing analysis, so we can make better decisions as a company. 

Question: Where are you from, and can you list something about your cultural background that people would not necessarily directly associate with?

Temitayo: I’m from Nigeria, and I hail from Ogun State, a Yoruba part of Nigeria. We speak a general language called Yoruba. I lived in Lagos, one of Nigeria’s bustling cities. I decided to move because it’s just too busy for me.

At work, I had to speak up when I was getting burnt out. I was doing so much, sleeping so little, and still feeling overworked, so I spoke to my manager. We worked out a way where I could rearrange my schedule to work around my new life as a mother.

Question: How did you get into your role?

Temitayo: It’s been a journey of many decisions. I was previously working as a sales executive for a company in Nigeria, but then I got tired of having to do physical sales, so I looked for a remote job. I found Exalate on LinkedIn. I saw a post about the position and realized I actually have such capabilities. So I interviewed, and then I got the job. 

After that, my journey changed: I got pregnant with twins. When I had my twins, it became a little difficult because our sales team was growing, and so many things were happening. So, it became slightly difficult to continue working on the sales team, and I thought about where I wanted to progress after this. 

I couldn’t keep up with the demands of the sales team, and I needed to do things that engaged me without feeling burnt out. 

So, I spoke to my manager, and then we talked about it and worked out where I’d go next. 

I loved doing data cleanup and  spreadsheet analysis, so I was able to find a spot for me where my strengths were put to good use. It was pretty easy; I didn’t have to do anything special, I just told management what I wanted to do next, and they found a match for me. 

We matched my goals with my strengths, and then the next thing I moved from being in sales to being in sales support, and now I am in operations. I love what I’m doing. I have my life arranged, and I feel like in the next six months I will evolve into something greater. 

Question: What do you love most about being an operations administrator?

Temitayo: The fact that I get to speak to so many people in order to get the data I need. Before, I was just one girl in sales, I didn’t feel like I had a personal rapport with anyone, it was just me doing my thing, trying to book demos. Now I work with almost everybody in sales and marketing, and now I have a personal rapport with so many of my colleagues. Having that personal thing with people makes me more happy to do what I do.

Question: What special skills do you think you bring to the table in your role?

Temitayo: My strong suit is this kind of analysis, arranging stuff, and digging deep into the real reasons why we have the data we have. For example, I might want to find out why a deal was lost. Somebody might say the customer just stopped responding, but my job is to go in and really see why. Was it a pricing issue, or was it a product misfit? One of my strengths is also arranging things. I like making sure things are in the right order so they can be easily understood.

I have always wanted to be a great motivation for my family. I want them to see that nothing is impossible, you can become anything that you want to become.

Question: How do you deal with the constant innovation and the constant change in the tech landscape? 

Temitayo: From my very third month in Exalate I learned to embrace change. Change can be painful; I have to be candid. In my very first month, I was working with somebody who I really vibed with. We were competing with other teams, so it made it more interesting, and then three months into my job, everything just changed. I asked myself how I was going to deal with that, and I realized that change is how the business survives. I also deal with change by evolving myself. I take courses and try to stay updated with the new systems and tools that are currently being used in the industry. And that’s how I’ve come to embrace change and the changes the business goes through. 

Question: Is there any particular challenge you’ve encountered as a woman in tech? 

Temitayo: I think a lot of my challenges are more personal. I joined the tech industry; Exalate, and in a couple of  months I became a mother of two. That’s a lot of change; I had my attention divided and that was a big challenge. Besides that, I don’t think I look like a tech person. Because I work remotely, people don’t even know what I do, and that’s cool for me. I feel like I’m working undercover but sometimes it can get lonely.

Question: Is there anything that you feel Exalate could do to improve the feeling of diversity and inclusion?

Temitayo: I feel like we’re doing pretty well. There’s no discrimination. Anybody from anywhere can join the company. There’s this effort to pull people from different countries; it makes a statement about how we care about togetherness and bonding.

Question: How has your experience been with managing your work-life balance, sadly, tech is an industry pretty well known to have an impact on that. 

Temitayo: My strategy was this: First, I moved to my parents. Because my husband also works in a health tech firm, it made it more difficult for him to help out consistently. I also had to speak up when I was getting burnt out .I was doing so much, sleeping so little, and still feeling overworked, so I had to speak to my manager. We worked out a way where I could rearrange my schedule to work around my new life as a mother. That worked out great, and here I am working at the times I want to work and giving myself breaks. 


Question: If you could time travel back to the start of your career, what advice would you give yourself?

Temitayo:  I would have done something different at school. I did Agriculture, and that’s totally worlds apart from what I’m currently doing. I would actually have studied something that had to do with business or tech sales. After school, I worked as a copywriter for a while, but I was having writer’s block, and it wasn’t something I felt I could do long-term. I’m still glad for my experience because it turned out well.

Question: If you could be someone else at Exalate, just for one day, who would it be?

Temitayo: Maybe I would swap with one of the HR managers, just to be able to say to people, bring all your problems to me, I can help and I can solve them. 

Question: How would you say in general that Exalate has impacted your experience as a woman in tech?

Temitayo: I’ve grown so much since I joined. I remember Nola (my manager) telling me “You’re a techie now, so you have to learn these things” and it’s helped me expand and become better at managing tasks. My journey here has helped me become a more techy person. 

Question: Where and how do you keep finding the motivation to keep growing and learning?

Temitayo: I have always wanted to be a great motivation for my family. I want them to see that nothing is impossible, you can become anything that you want to become. Secondly, I want to become part of a leadership team, where I am making decisions that move the company forward.

Question: Could you share some interesting fact/s about your home country and its culture? What are some things you’d love for us to know about where you’re from?

Temitayo: My home country is Nigeria, and Nigeria is the giant of Africa. English is the official language, but there are over 500 local languages. I’m Yoruba, and we’re known for our love of food, fashion, and parties. One of our famous dishes is Amala and Ewedu, also called Abula when mixed with Gbegiri, which I adore. Ofada rice, Lafun, and Efo-riro are other popular dishes. Yorubas enjoy celebrating every achievement lavishly. Funny enough, I do not party as much.

Question: That actually brings us to the end of our interview. It’s been a real joy talking to you. 

Temitayo: Thanks so much for the interview, it’s been wonderful.

Connect with Temitayo

If you wish to connect with Temitayo and learn more, seek advice, or share similar experiences, feel free to reach out to her via LinkedIn.

Let's keep the conversation going and empower each other along the way.

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