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TrueLayer’s Guide to Thriving in FinTech as a Non-Techie

Finance report depicting graphs and pie charts on a desk, Data Scientist

ARTICLE SUMMARY

There are plenty of non-tech roles to be enjoyed in Fintech. We hope that our interview with Whitney Jackson, from TrueLayer will provide inspiration and encouragement to more women considering joining or transitioning into the tech industry.

Far too often, women are deterred from the world of tech with the perception that if they don’t have coding experience, there’s no place for them in the industry. The reality is that there are plenty of non-tech roles to be enjoyed in Tech.

Fintech
Whitney Jackson, Senior Customer Success Manager at TrueLayer

We hope that our interview with Whitney Jackson, from TrueLayer will provide inspiration and encouragement to more women considering joining or transitioning into the tech industry.

What was it about joining TrueLayer in the role as Senior Customer Success Manager that was most appealing to you?

I really enjoy being client-facing and working with lots of different types of businesses. This role gives me the opportunity to do that while also helping shape the strategy, as we are a very new team. I have a background in payments, and TrueLayer is leading the way for open banking payments and data products, so I figured it would be a great fit.

As a non-techie, did you have any specific concerns about joining a fintech organisation? 

I didn’t. I did have the normal nerves of joining a new company as this is completely different from where I worked last, but I was mostly excited. Through the interview process, I met people from across the business and it was clear that TrueLayer is a great place to work for engineers and non-engineers alike. The great thing about fintech startups is that they turn ideas into reality quickly, to improve the product and experience for clients – and that’s the kind of organisation I want to work in.

What sort of skills (both hard and soft) do you think are required for the ways in which you do interact with tech in the business? 

The ability to work with lots of different types of people is key, as is the ability to communicate information in a variety of ways. Never be afraid to ask questions: if you’re speaking to a technical colleague and don’t understand something, always ask them to explain. If you don’t understand it, chances are your client contact might not either. In fintech, you also have to be comfortable working at pace and be prepared to change direction if required. Perhaps most important, I think, is the willingness and enthusiasm to learn.

How have you been involved in Truelayer’s employee-led women’s network? 

I’m on the leadership team of the women’s employee resource group at TrueLayer. Our mission is to make Truelayer a truly great place for women to work, and to foster an inclusive and diverse culture, both at TrueLayer and within the wider fintech community. I joined initially as a way to understand more about the business and to meet colleagues who I might not normally meet in the course of my daily work. Something on our roadmap is to host an event with other women’s networks, so if you’re reading this and that’s of interest, please do reach out to me!

From your experience, how do you think we can get more women into tech?

There are so many things we can do as a tech industry to attract more women – from flexible working policies to tackling bias in hiring, mentor schemes for women and better parental leave. If you want to work in tech but don’t yet have the hard skills, I’d encourage you to make the jump anyway: at TrueLayer for example, we have open roles across a variety of different teams, from marketing to legal to product. Your experience working in different industries can be highly valuable. Once you’re here and working closely with different people in technical terms, it’s easier to decide if you want to switch to something more ‘tech’ based.

What questions do you think women should be asking potential employers, to ensure they’re joining a company that’s committed to diversity?

A good question that covers a broad range of inclusivity points is: “What would you like your employees to feel like while working for this company?” Another more direct approach could be to ask for stats on the gender balance – overall and in leadership positions. If the stats aren’t great, ask what they’re doing to improve. Company culture is so important – you should feel comfortable asking any question that you feel is relevant, to make sure this is a place you want to work and that the company shares your values. How you feel about it during the interview process, is a good indication of how you’ll feel if you accept the job.

Finally: What specific advice do you have for other women, keen to get into tech but who don’t code?

Just to go for it. There are so many resources available to support you, from podcasts and books to youtube vlogs and company websites. Every product or service you use has a tech team, so start looking at what you’re naturally interested in first, and see where that leads. There probably isn’t a role that exists in other companies that isn’t also needed in tech firms, so don’t be put off by not knowing how to code. Just go for it.

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