As Tiffany Shepard grew up in the small town of Elkton, in the thumb, she saw the first wind park in Michigan rise nearby. While this was a cool experience to watch, it also sparked controversy in her hometown. She and other students studied wind and solar energy to learn more about what was happening in their own backyard. After a few different turns in her career, Tiffany is now a Wind Technician with DTE, right where she wants to be.
After receiving her trade certificate from MIAT College of Technology in Canton, Tiffany worked as a composite technician, performing internal and external blade repairs as a traveling wind technician. After a year of traveling, she wanted to move back home and found a job as a fuel supply operator at a biomass power plant in Flint. There she also worked as a plant operator and fuel receiving yard manager and was working on her control room operator certifications when she left. Right before the pandemic, she moved with her husband and kids back to the thumb to help with her family business. It was there she found the job posting as a wind tech for our company.
During Women’s History Month, our company, along with the Women of DTE employee resource group, celebrate the accomplishments of women across the world. In some instances, at our company, women stand alone within their workgroup, especially in the skilled trades.
But when asked about being the only woman on the team, Tiffany finds it hard to explain, since she’s always worked in predominantly male fields. In a way, that makes the benefits of Women of DTE more meaningful to her.
“The connections I have made and will continue to make are the best part of being a part of the Women of DTE,” she says. “It’s a great way to grow a support system in our company. Being the only women on my team, Women of DTE gives me a great opportunity to network with other women. The group is able to talk about hard issues, and I know that if I had an issue I could take it to any member and talk and not be judged.”
“Don’t think that because a position is male-dominated, a women can’t do it,” she says. “Every job I’ve had has been a “man’s job” and I have done all of them with no issues. If you can put your mind to it there isn’t anything you can’t achieve.”
When she’s not at work, Tiffany and her husband stay busy remodeling a two-story house that they physically moved on a trailer 13 miles to her grandparent’s farm. Tiffany is motivated by her kids, Jaxson and Charlotte, and they’re expecting a third this September. “Knowing that my children are watching my every move, I want to lead by example and show them that hard work, dedication, and passion will get you everywhere in life. If you want something, chase after that dream because it is worth it.”