_Womeninsneakers is celebrating sneaker-passionate women working behind the scenes in the male-dominated field
Created by Stephanie Hulbert-Thomas only this summer, _Womeninsneakers is emerging as the go-to place to celebrate women in the sneaker industry. With Q&As hearing from women working behind the scenes – from Nike guest designers to the Puma Product Manager – Stephanie has created a space for them to share their experiences and hopefully educate those wanting to get into the industry too. We spoke with Stephanie to hear more about starting _Womeninsneakers, the age-old issue of why the industry is so male-dominated, and what to expect from the platform in the future.
made Stephanie want to start _Womeninsneakers?
Stephanie: “Having worked in the sneaker industry for over 5 years, I felt that the way women were represented within the industry was skewed and failed to represent me and my experiences. In all honesty, I felt that female sneakerheads had become an archetype and pigeon-holed to all look a certain way. Not only was there a lack of representation but actually a lack of visibility and story-telling of the women behind the scenes. I had the pleasure of working with talented and inspiring women from all walks of life, but their successes were rarely visible to those on the outside.”
“Not only was there a lack of representation but actually a lack of visibility and story-telling of the women behind the scenes.”
is the sneaker industry so male-dominated?
Stephanie: “I won’t go into the age-old rant of systemic inequality between men and women, but what I will say is that the sneaker industry’s roots come from sport. The sports industry is infamous for favouring men over women and so a direct result of that is that men dominate the sneaker industry. This has begun to shift in recent years, however simple changes such as size availability would make a huge difference. Alongside this, having women in decision making roles and innovation roles would really help diversify the sneaker industry, not just within brands but within media outlets too.”
does _Womeninsneakers hope to grow as a space in the industry?
Stephanie: “I hope _Womeninsneakers will not only be a platform for visibility and championing women in the industry but that it also becomes a resource for those wanting to get into sneaker-related job roles, and inspire them to go for the thing they have been thinking about starting. It’s also a space for people to show their creativity – I have a weekly segment called ‘pics of ya kicks’ where people tag or use #_Wis to feature. I’ve seen a breadth of talented people so far, with everything from illustration, embroidery, graphic design, and more!”
“I hope _Womeninsneakers will not only be a platform for visibility and championing women in the industry but that it also becomes a resource for those wanting to get into sneaker-related job roles...”