Finding work can be a struggle for even the most well-to-do of Australians so imagine what it can be like for single-mothers, refugee women, female victims of domestic-abuse and thousands of other disadvantaged and long-term unemployed Australian women. For these women, finding work can be an on-going and ever-disappointing exercise that sadly, often leads to a dead end. Special vintage and contemporary online boutique store, DearGladys.com.au, is the first not-for-profit online retail store in Australia, providing funding for a unique social enterprise that is empowering thousands of women by helping to boost their confidence and subsequently, gain employment.
ALL SALES from DearGladys.com.au (and the Dear Gladys boutique in Northcote, Melbourne) go towards the efforts of Fitted for Work, which is also a not-for-profit organisation that operates in Melbourne, Sydney and country Victoria.
Since 2005, Fitted for Work has transformed the lives of 6,500 women across Australia by helping them obtain and maintain employment. The organisation provides free interview-appropriate clothing through personal dressing services as well as mentoring and transition to work programs.
Compared to other OECD countries, Australia has one of the lowest participation rates of single mothers in the workforce, which means Aussie children are more susceptible to growing up in poverty. This is why DearGladys the boutique, and now DearGladys.com.au, raises vital funds to help Australian women experiencing disadvantage get back into the workforce.
As a result of the valuable work undertaken by Fitted for Work staff and volunteers, Australian women have the opportunity to gain the self-esteem and confidence to achieve sustainable employment. A recent survey commissioned by the organisation found that 75% of the women dressed by Fitted for Work were employed within three months of their visit.
Fitted for Work CEO Jane Hunt said the goals of Fitted for Work clients are much the same as those of the organisation itself.
“In the same way that we want sustainable employment for the women that we work with, we also want it for ourselves,” said Mrs Hunt.