2018 Round 2 Top 6 Finalist

Dress for Success

Supporting women in need, so they have the confidence and skills to gain employment and achieve financial independence.

It is so important that women experiencing hardship including poverty, domestic violence, economic abuse and disadvantage have the support they need to get back on their feet.

At Dress for Success in Sydney, we help vulnerable women by providing them - free of charge - professional clothing, a network of support and career development tools to help them gain employment and achieve self-sufficiency. For some women this is as simple as providing them an interview-appropriate outfit; for others it is attending a series of workshops to help build their skills, resumes and confidence.

Our three core programs build employability, eradicate discrimination and remove barriers to employment for women. The combination of practical tools and emotional support that we offer removes several key barriers to gaining employment and empowers women from all backgrounds become independent and financially stable. 

The women who walk through our doors or apply to receive a Pack and Send parcel generally come to us at a very challenging crossroads in their lives. It can be frightening getting back into the workforce, or entering it for the first time, particularly when you feel behind before you even start. It takes time to help women rebuild their confidence and get into the workforce, but the change we see in our clients is evident even within their first one-hour styling session or the beautiful notes they write us after receiving a parcel.

We have helped more than 2,600 women in NSW in 2017-18 FY, but we know there are thousands more who would benefit from Dress for Success. We want the capacity to ensure every woman who needs it, can receive a free interview outfit to wear, assistance writing their resumes and cover letters, and workshops to give them additional skills and support.

Currently, 95% of our clients report they feel empowered on their employment journey. One thing we know for certain is that when you support a woman, the positive impacts extend far beyond just the individual. When women thrive, their families and their communities greatly benefit.

Our dream is not small! There are around 400,000 unemployed women in Australia and we want to empower every woman who wants a job to get one, with the tools, support and outfit to help her feel confident at her next interview. This means we need to get smart about delivery! By increasing our Pack and Send service, particularly to regional areas, and by increasing the number and quality of workshops delivered online, we will achieve our dream.

A Sunsuper Dreams for a Better World grant will help us to recruit and train additional volunteers, recycle more clothing, and hold career workshops. Most importantly, a grant will help us increase our outreach styling and coaching services and expand our online capabilities to reach even more women in regional areas who need our help. 

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