I believe women have a unique ability to positively influence their families and communities, and when they have economic independence, that impact is multiplied. I also believe when women support one another, they can achieve even greater things. I was instantly drawn to the power of Dress for Success San Francisco (DFSSF), and knew I wanted to contribute.
I am so proud to help Dress for Success San Francisco celebrate its “Sweet 16 Anniversary” — 16 years serving women from all Bay Area counties. From a volunteer to now board member, I know our mission — to empower women to achieve economic independence — is even more relevant and important than ever.
While clients are vulnerable to economic disparities spurred by hardship and gender-based biases, women bore the brunt of devastating Covid-19-related disruption. Our women now face increased financial, food and housing insecurity due to job loss.
We want every unemployed or underemployed woman in the Bay Area to know that Dress for Success has a network, programs and resources available to support them as they navigate these uncertain times. From Career Wardrobe and Job Search, to Employment Retention and Financial Literacy, many of our programs are now offered online or in a hybrid format.
As part of our Sweet 16 Anniversary celebration, we embrace not only the value of our work, but the success stories that result. Volunteering as a career coach, I remember helping a woman who had recently lost her job. Strong, funny, and confident, she needed help updating her resume and recent experience. Then the pandemic hit. A year later we reconnected through DFSSF, and that strong, funny, and confident woman was a shadow of her former self. She never found employment during the pandemic, experienced health issues, lost her way and became depressed.
I was really happy that she reached out. We talked candidly about what was holding her back, sketched a plan of action and I assured her she wasn’t alone: Dress for Success San Francisco would support her along the way. By the end of our meeting, she was smiling and hopeful, and I could see some of her old self shining through. And I’m extremely proud to share that a few months later — she found a job!
As we celebrate the Dress for Success Sweet 16 Anniversary, more women than ever need our support, and we need yours. To get involved or donate, please visit our website.