Lead Innovator on the Nike Hyperadapt and 2015 Nike Mag. Tiffany grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and studied at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College for her Bachelors of Science in Plastics Engineering Technology. Tiffany then went on to be a Product Design Engineer for 2 years at Newell Rubbermaid, a Product Innovator for 13 years at Nike and most recently a Technical Program Manager for Tesla. Tiffany is experienced in product development from concept thru mass production of consumer goods. Tiffany has been featured in Wired Magazine (Oct ‘16), Netflix-Abstract the Art of Design, The Today Show, The New York Times and the book “Sneakers” for her innovative work on Nike’s Electro Adaptive Reactive Lacing (EARL) Technology.
WITH GROUPS CREATING PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE FEMALES TO CONSIDER STEM, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO ENTRY THAT IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY?
I think the largest barrier to more women entering stem fields is a lack of on-going support. There are lots of great programs to get you interested and excited about STEM fields but getting interested is the easy part. Even learning the skills is easy. The hard part is dealing with all the other less tangible challenges that male-dominated fields throw at you. Some examples might be: networking, handling conflict, methods and being assertive.
In my experience how I think and my approach to solving problems is different, it doesn't matter that I get the same or better result, I have to explain myself just because my approach is different. I would have loved a network or some sort of support system throughout college and even still now to rely on for the hard less tangible parts of working in a male-dominated field.
I think if young women knew they would be supported throughout their studies and into their career, they would be much more likely to take the risk. Maybe I’ll make one!
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I get most inspired by talking 1:1 to young people. I just had coffee the other day with a young lady who wants to be a shoe designer and I left that conversation so inspired. There is just something about the energy of a young person with a dream and the willingness to make it happen. I’m not sure she realized it but she has amazing, fresh ideas. I also think, like most young women, she doesn't realize it yet but she has everything she needs to be an amazing shoe designer. Most of the young ladies I meet don't know that, but neither did I when I was young and frankly, I still doubt it sometimes. But what I do know without a doubt is I can see it in these young ladies. I mean they reached out to a total stranger to talk about how they will succeed, that’s bold, courageous and incredible!
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT/ACCOMPLISHMENT?
My proudest moment is being in Wired Magazine (Oct ‘16). I had been reading Wired Magazine for years and always looked to it for the coolest new tech and companies...etc. To be in an October Design Issues was incredible. To have my thought process laid out in plain text like that was surreal and still is today. I simply just did what I thought was my job and to have people want to know how it happened, to want to write about it, to ask me questions about why I did what I did was totally crazy. One of the best parts of the experience was the interview process. I totally picked the brains of everyone I met to better understand the world thru their eyes, it was fascinating!