How one hour can change a life

24 March 2022



International Women’s Day (IWD) was held earlier in March as a global day to celebrate women and to call for accelerating women’s equality. 

 

But the whole month of March has been used to shine a light on empowering women struggling with unemployment and financial security, through the Empower Hour initiative of Dress for Success. And we’re proud to play our part in backing this important initiative.

 

Dress for Success is an international organisation operating since 1997 in 25 countries. Dress for Success empowers women by providing a network of support, professional clothing, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and life. 

 

The Hobart boutique opened in Hobart in 2019 and has supported over 250 women to achieve employment and economic independence.

Dress for Success CEO, Amanda French, with Sarah Metcalf, Engagement Program Manager

 

 

“We provide a safe space for women to feel seen and heard, where their confidence can be harnessed to propel them forward to a brighter future,” CEO Amanda French explains. “Our purpose is to offer long-lasting solutions to enable women to break down the barriers to achieve success.”

 

In 2020, Dress for Success Hobart was a recipient of a Hydro Tasmania Community Grant. The grant supported the development of online workshops to support women in need during the COVID-19 pandemic when lockdowns were in effect in Tasmania. 

 

“Women have been most impacted by unemployment as a result of the global pandemic, due to their representation in lower paid roles in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors. Vulnerable and marginalised women need support to improve their economic participation.”  

 

Client impact surveys from Dress for Success nationally have highlighted the need for their services now more than ever, with 72% of clients facing financial hardship due to income and job loss during the pandemic and over 25% at risk of losing their housing due to income loss.  

 

Hydro Tasmania, alongside our consulting firm, Entura and mainland retailer, Momentum Energy, is participating in the Empower Hour fundraiser. The “pay it forward” campaign encourages individuals to pledge an hour of their pay to empower women who are struggling with unemployment and financial security. The national fundraiser allows individuals to direct funds towards their local DFS chapters. 

 

“Now more than ever, we believe it’s important that we support organisations such as Dress for Success to help women achieve employment and financial independence,” Executive General Manager, People, Culture and Engagement, Ruth Groom said.

 

“In Tasmania, funds will be directed straight into service delivery to support women locally to access the suite of programs that we offer,” Amanda said.

 

“Dress for Success services are about much more than simply a new outfit or resume. We make a significant contribution to building resilience in families and communities. The true impact of our services can be found in the increased capacity and self-sufficiency of our clients.”

Dress for Success CEO, Amanda French, with Hydro Tasmania's Lucy Aird, Manager Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 

 

 

“The fact that the funds raised go directly to the local chapter of the organisation means Tasmanian women will directly benefit from any donations,” Ruth said. “And we will match dollar-for-dollar any donations made by our employees up to $10,000.” 

How you can help

If you would like to support Dress for Success by donating your hour, visit empowerhour.org.au  and donate before the end of March.

 

Hydro Tasmania, Entura and Momentum Energy's fundraising page can be found at www.dfss.org.au/fundraisers/HydroTas/empower-hour.

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