Suitable Attire for Everyone
By Henny Buffinga
Dressing for the job you want is not always an option. That’s why Dress for Success, a registered charity with a local chapter here in the National Capital Region, exists.
Dress for Success helps economically disadvantaged but employment-ready women by providing them with proper interview attire, and once they land a job, a wardrobe for the first few weeks to make a great first impression. Since the Ottawa chapter opened in 2011, they have supported thousands of women in the area on their new career path.
In addition to the clothing, Dress for Success also offers support and assistance to women with career coaching that helps them gain the confidence to nail job interviews and get the job. They also host First Impressions workshops and community-based workshops throughout the year to help women achieve economic independence.
The organization is about more than just new clothing; it’s about breaking the cycle of poverty. As culturally women are often primary caretakers of both children and the elderly, they are disproportionately affected by poverty. By providing mental preparation for interviews, confidence through the appropriate wardrobe, and continued support through workshops, they try to set these women up to succeed.
If you’d like to help, Dress for Success accepts gently-used professional women’s clothing on donation days once a month, or you can host a donation drive to get friends, family or colleagues involved in helping women achieve their career advancement goals. Dress for Success also has volunteer opportunities for events, donation days, office support, mentorship, suiting sessions, and hosting mock interviews to help hone interview skills.