A Human Agency (a-ha!) was proud to support Dress for Success Sydney as our charity partner at the recent Women Who Rock! IWD event. Following the event I was delighted to visit the Marrickville Showroom to deliver clothing donated as a part of the Women Who Rock! corporate clothing drive.
Dress for Success Sydney has been one of my favourite charities for many years.
We all know that there is an economic imperative to increase women’s participation in the workforce and a failure to do so will impact productivity globally. But at a personal level, being able to participate in the workforce is not always a given. In NSW alone over 80,000 women are registered as seeking employment. Women experience many hardships that can prevent them from being able to work. Access to affordable childcare is a significant barrier, but so too are lacking confidence and even having the right clothes for an interview. For many women in Australia lacking ‘the right clothes’ might mean a wardrobe dilemma about whether to wear timeless black or be more bold in a splash of purple.
But for other women who are living in refuges, victims of domestic violence, women experiencing long term unemployment, lacking the right clothes for a job interview or court appearance means not having anything at all to wear in which you feel confident and ready for work. The long road to gender equality may very well start with a great outfit for work.
That’s why Dress for Success is such a powerful concept that is well aligned to Women Who Rock! Dress for Success’s vision is to remove barriers and empower women to create brighter futures for themselves and their families. When you give a woman in need some career coaching and training, plus a new work-ready outfit, you build her confidence and invest in her future. Talking about the problems won’t fix them; but real, practical solutions can make a real difference.
The Marrickville Showroom was buzzing with clients and volunteers when I visited. The positive energy was palpable, huge smiles bounced back from mirrors as women looked at their newly styled reflection and dared to imagine themselves successfully applying for jobs which would build the foundations of their economic independence. I have so much admiration for the staff and volunteers of Dress for Success Sydney and I encourage everyone to consider supporting Dress for Success Sydney in any way you can. As Michelle Obama famously said, “Every successful woman has a duty to reach back and pull up the women behind them.”
So while the problem of long term unemployment of women and pay equity might seem overwhelming to try and solve, every single person reading this article can do something to change someone else life. You don’t need to be Michelle Obama to make a difference. YOU, yes you, can ‘make it happen’ and help a woman get back on her feet and into the workforce. By making a difference to one person’s life the ripple affect of improving the lives of many begins.
Donations of volunteering time, clothes and particularly money enable DFSS to provide a free service that directly increases the employability of women and opens up new and positive options. I encourage you to make a difference by making a donation – whether big or small – at www.everydayhero.com.au/event/dressforsuccessdonate.
#ahamoments with Kat.