It’s the last Feel Good Friday of Women’s History Month so put on your fancy clothes and take a moment to celebrate Dress for Success.
Founded in the basement of a church in Manhattan in 1996, Dress for Success is “a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” Their vision is “a world where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.”
Dress for Success clients are women with job interviews who get referred by organizations such as homeless shelters, immigration services, job training programs, educational institutions, and domestic violence shelters. Once connected to a Dress for Success affiliate, these women have access to a variety of services.
There are over 13,000 volunteer personal shoppers who work with women to select clothing for an interview, and later a new job. There are also workshops and career coaching on topics such as resume writing, interview prep, online job search tips and career planning. Many affiliates have an employment retention program for women seeking to network with other professionals and enhance their careers.
Since they began, Dress for Success has expanded to almost 150 cities in 25 countries and accepts referrals from over 5,000 organizations worldwide. More than 1.2 million women have taken steps towards economic independence with the help of Dress for Success. You can read personal success stories at this link or meet some clients in this 5-minute video.
If you’d like to get help women become more self-sufficient there are many ways to get involved. Find your local affiliate and volunteer as a personal shopper, or donate a gift card, store credit, or cash. If you’re unsure of an appropriate donation amount, Dress for Success has a campaign encouraging people to give an hour of their pay and then tag it on social media with #YourHourHerPower. Speaking of social media, what a great way to let other people know about this work. Like the Dress for Success Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @dressforsuccess and Instagram @dressforsuccess.