Two people holding up clothes donated for Dress for Success

One good outfit can change your life

14 July 2020



From a simple idea, has come a global movement that is helping women achieve economic independence.

 

That’s the goal of Dress for Success and we are proud to celebrate and support their work by awarding the newly establish Hobart organisation a 2020 Community Grant.

 

Dress for Success - blog content image

 

Landing a job interview is about confidence and looking the part, but summoning this confidence can be very difficult, especially if you can’t afford a professional outfit, lack experience with interviews, are new to Australia’s workforce or even struggling to break out of poverty. For women, this can be a major obstacle. Women trying to navigate the job market are often disadvantaged in a range of ways, whether it be through time out of the workforce or being judged more harshly on their appearance.

 

But tailoring a professional appearance is just the start. Dress for Success provides training and support that truly empowers women to change their lives. This not-for-profit has now been operating since 1997, in 147 cities and 25 countries.

 

Hobart General Manager Amanda French brought Dress for Success to Hobart in 2017 and has established a welcoming space in the CBD, with a boutique that features a wide variety of donated clothes.

 

“They’re second hand clothes, but we’re careful to only accept and provide attire that women will feel comfortable wearing in a job interview,” said Amanda.

 

“We want women to thrive in work and life, so we’re here to provide long-lasting solutions that enable women to build a network of support and develop skills to help them to move forward. It’s about so much more than the outfit.”

 

When COVID-19 began to impact Tasmania, Amanda quickly understood that she would need to adapt her service to a world of social distancing and video conferencing. With a Community Grant from Hydro Tasmania, Dress for Success is preparing a series of recorded workshops that can be delivered online, backed with face-to-face sessions and evaluations. These workshops will directly address the current working environment, with tips on video interviews and working from home.

 

Amanda explained that once completed in late 2020, the workshops will be available whenever they’re needed, providing a boost to the organisation’s capacity to help women.

 

“We already have so many women experiencing long-term unemployment who we need to connect with, and in this current environment access to support to find employment is more important than ever. Many people have already lost their jobs and this will become the reality for many more in the coming months.

 

“We just don’t know how long the effects of COVID-19 could last.”

 

Dress for Success is another worthy recipient from our 2020 Community Grant round. They are always looking for donations of good quality, professional attire for women, so if you can help please get in touch on hobart@dressforsuccess.org or visit their Facebook page to see what you can do to support them.

 

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