Dress for Success
Whether they are busy building business empires, or being the sole financial support in their family, women in the workplace are rising, thriving and inspiring others to do the same. But their accomplishments don’t come without tribulations, large and small. Most women must fight to gain respect and praise comparable to their male counterparts — and receive equal pay. But for women who live in poverty, even having or maintaining a job, let alone thriving in one, can seem impossible.
Dress For Success serves as a resource for women in poverty, and offers tools towards economic independence, starting with their interview outfits. Created in 1997, they provide professional clothing that clients can use for job interviews and entering the working world. Each client is given a suit that she can use for interviews and return for a up to a week’s worth of professional attire once employed. For many, these clothes mean a more seamless transition into their new career.
But Dress for Success “is so much more than the suit, ” explained public relations manager Lindsey Groginski. Since it started, it has ballooned to an immense enterprise in 150 locations and 23 countries that has surpassed serving its one millionth client. Within all of them are plenty of resources that help clients become employed, stay employed, and flourish in their fields.
Programs launching in 2017 include real time emergency assistance plan “B Strong: Find Your Yes” in partnership with Bethenny Frankel. If women experience road blocks or difficult circumstances on their professional journey, the program will offer resources ranging from advice and financial assistance. They'll also be introducing a digital platform with FedEx, which will help clients obtain course information remotely, ensuring that more women in a wider range of circumstances get career help.
In terms of helping the cause, there’s a lot more that volunteers can do other than donate money, though that is also absolutely accepted on their website. Professional attire can be donated at any one of their affiliate stores, and you can help spread awareness virtually by sharing their stories or using their hashtag @dressforsuccess. Volunteers can also offer their time in the suiting program curating professional ensembles for clients, or give mock interviews/resume advice.
“Many of our Dress of Success clients and ambassadors go on to become mentors to the women who are just starting with the Dress for Success programs,” explained Groginski, “We also have many women what are more than happy to share their success stories with the world and they express such amazing gratitude for their experiences within the organization.” Offering tools towards a job and financial success is the most potent form of poverty prevention, with the potential to help even more than just the individual in need.
More inspiring info and resources can be found on the Dress of Success website.