Katherine Duncan 2017-03-06 11:53:05
Dress for Success supports women on the road to economic independence. According to the United States Department of Labor, today nearly 60 percent of women are part of the national workforce, compared to 38 percent in 1963. Whether they are looking for their first job, trying to re-enter the workforce or seeking to further their career, women can turn to Dress for Success for help. The nonprofit began in 1997 with a basement boutique in New York City filled with women’s professional attire. Today it operates in 145 cities and 23 countries. While the organization continues to provide interview and onthe- job apparel, it has expanded to more initiatives that offer additional and ongoing assistance. Dress for Success Career Centers, for example, help women enhance their skill sets and explore potential career opportunities. Job training and retention programs are also available, as well as financial education. “Dress for Success is so much more than the suit,” says CEO Joi Gordon. “Our goal is to eliminate poverty and give women the support they need to achieve a lifetime of self-sufficiency. When a woman walks through the doors of Dress for Success we don’t only support her for just that month, that year or until she gets the job. We offer her a lifetime of support through our continuum of services. She becomes a part of the Dress for Success family.” The organization’s new B Strong: Find Your Yes program will provide just the kind of help one might seek from a family member: real-time assistance during a crisis. Starting mid-2017, B Strong, which was created in partnership with entrepreneur and TV personality Bethenny Frankel, will offer resources, support and financial aid to Dress for Success clients in the midst of an emergency. “The decisions a woman makes when a curve ball is thrown her way can either ameliorate the situation or turn it into a full-blown crisis,” Gordon says. “… We ultimately teamed up with Bethenny to ensure that our women have the tools they need to manage the situation and achieve the best outcome possible.” As of February this year, Dress for Success has helped a stunning 1 million women in their career goals, an achievement the nonprofit’s dedicated staff strived to reach. “I went to law school to make a difference, so I wanted to be part of a movement,” Gordon says of her decision to join Dress for Success in 1999. “I knew that giving women the tools they needed to succeed, i.e. the suit, would be the beginning of something great.”
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