MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative
Tiffany Ferguson is helping Americans overcome financial hardships
From her time at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to the new social welfare startup WorkMoney, Tiffany Ferguson has spent her career working to make American life more affordable and American families more economically secure.
Back when Tiffany was working on her master’s in city planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT she realized something was missing in her education; an understanding of responsible business and its role in society. That’s when she enrolled in our Sustainability Certificate program, hoping to incorporate sustainable business practices into her future work to empower communities.
“The Sustainability Initiative helped me understand that there were serious conversations happening in the business sector around wealth inequality, worker voice, and living wages,” Tiffany says. “It was S-Lab discussions that helped me unpack what sustainability looks like in different company contexts, and how to be an effective agent in any of those contexts.”
In a leadership role on the 10th Annual MIT Sustainability Summit–focused on social sustainability and good jobs–Tiffany made the professional contact that eventually led to her job at the Fed. During an S-Lab course, her team worked with Patagonia to reimagine how an apparel brand might work with contract manufacturers to ensure that workers earn living wages – skills that helped set her up for her post-MIT career journey to expand her impact.
“Who has the power or willingness to make work better for workers? That is the principle question I grapple with on a day-to-day basis.”
After MIT, Tiffany oversaw the design and implementation of non-profit "The Workers Lab" and their signature programs to fund workforce innovation. The organization works to tackle lack of funding for new ideas that work for working people.
Now, in her role as VP of Operations at WorkMoney, Tiffany is building the foundational pillars of the rapidly-scaling organization. Launched in 2020, WorkMoney built a communications platform with a rapidly growing membership base of over 2 million.
The organization provides products, services, tips, tools, and advice to help everyday Americans improve their financial lives. Aiming to mobilize the power of ordinary people, WorkMoney engages them in real conversations. In return, it provides fact-based information about how various pieces of legislation could put money in their bank accounts...or not.
“The lack of financial security that so many face keeps them on the sidelines, unable to participate more meaningfully in our democracy,” she says. “At WorkMoney, we’re trying to get everyday folks in the game, by bridging the information gap and putting money in their pockets.”