Staff Learning and Inclusion Manager
Year zoo career began:
Tiffaney McClendon is the Staff Learning and Inclusion Manager at the Birmingham Zoo, where she manages the learning and professional development opportunities for team members and helps drive the organization's DEAI initiatives. Tiffaney is responsible for implementing learning programs that provide Birmingham Zoo staff more confidence in their roles, greater professional grown, and increased development opportunities. She also implements initiatives which further develop an equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace and visitor experience.
Tiffaney’s favorite parts of her job are being creative and building relationships. She’s able to stretch her creative muscles in developing learning strategies and materials and facilitating training. She is also tasked with building relationships with team members, volunteers, board members, and community partners in order to advance equity, inclusion, access, and diversity.
Tiffaney's journey to the zoo and aquarium field is not a straight road and happened a bit by accident. Tiffaney joined the work force early, having jobs in office and retail settings throughout middle and high school. She has since held positions in various fields such as administration, customer service, banking, hospitality, and probate court. Her first opportunity to work at the zoo came as a temporary cashier position when she picked up weekend shifts to make extra income. She was fortunate enough to join the team soon after and work towards her current position. Her diverse and varied work experiences have given Tiffaney a wide range of skills and expertise that she can now use to help her team members develop professionally and build an inclusive environment where they can feel safe to be themselves and thrive.
To others who are interested in a career within zoos and aquariums, training and development, or DEAI, Tiffaney would like to remind them that there are many different paths that can lead to a destination. Your journey does not have to look the same as everyone else's. Determine what you'd like to do, seek guidance from those who've already traversed the path, set realistic goals, and set out to achieve them.