“Every successful woman has a duty to reach back and pull up the women behind them” – Michelle Obama.
Meet Indah. Looking at her now, it’s hard to believe she was once homeless and unemployed.
Three months after arriving in Australia with her young family, Indah’s relationship broke down due to domestic violence. She had the courage to leave her abusive partner but with no home, no job and three children to provide for, one of whom has a disability, the outlook for Indah seemed bleak.
“I was in a dark place, I felt lost and hopeless,” Indah said.
Indah was learning English at a language school when she was referred to Dress for Success Sydney for a dressing and styling workshop. With encouragement, she went on to complete one of Dress for Success Sydney’s money management and resume writing workshops. These new skills, together with support and guidance from her coach, gave Indah the confidence, self-belief and resilience she needed to secure meaningful work.
Today Indah is working full time as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) and studying a Bachelor of Nursing She is happy, healthy and providing for her family.
“Dress for Success helped me to believe in myself and gave me the strength to not give up,” Indah said.
Indah’s story is not unique. She is just one of 350,000 women across Australia seeking employment. For many of these women, discrimination based on their appearance, disability, criminal history or ethnicity is a daily experience. It leaves their self-belief in tatters.
Dress for Success helps thousands of Australian women every year by providing the following free of charge services to women experiencing hardship:
• Professional clothing and styling advice
• Career Support workshops, from resume building and computer essentials to resilience, money management and interview skills
• Coaching (to get the job) and mentoring (to keep the job)
• Remote dressing and styling services (packing and sending clothing packs) to women in correctional centres and women in rural and remote regions of NSW with some of the highest unemployment rates in Australia.
In 2014, Dress for Success Sydney dressed more than 2,000 women for interviews and 600 women benefited from the in-house Career Support program.
This year, Dress for Success Australia-wide aims to empower 4,000 women by dressing them in professional clothing and providing practical skills and advice in preparation for job interviews. Dress for Success’ services are designed to restore dignity and equip women experiencing hardship with the skills and confidence they need to gain meaningful employment, economic independence and thrive in work and life.
A gift of $150 will dress, style and prepare a woman for an interview. A regular monthly contribution of just $25 provides a complete interview outfit for one woman and ensures she receives ongoing career support.
See Indah’s transformation here:
If you would like to support Dress for Success Sydney’s #Backontheirfeet campaign you can make a tax deductible donation here.
For more information about the work of Dress for Success Sydney or volunteering opportunities, head to their website.
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