Our latest Non-Profit Highlight is with Dress for Success Vancouver. We are constantly inspired by incredible organizations in BC that make a positive impact in the community.
We spoke with Dress for Success Vancouver’s Manager of Marketing and Communications, Natasha Irvine, about the organization’s commitment and contribution to women in Vancouver.
Dress for Success Vancouver — Empowering Women
Dress for Success Vancouver supports women entering the workforce by providing them with professional attire, career services, and skills development programs. Their vision is a world where women have independence to strengthen their families and shape their communities.
Enjoy our conversation with Natasha Irvine of Dress for Success Vancouver!
How did you get involved with Dress for Success Vancouver?
Dress for Success Vancouver is a cause that I’m passionate about because it gives women the skills to succeed in the workforce. When women are empowered with the skills to succeed they can achieve economic independence and become leaders in our communities.
Describe your team and all of those involved with Dress for Success Vancouver.
Our staff is a small team of seven, but we have over 200 active volunteers that contribute 15,000 hours each year to our organization. Each of our staff and volunteers are committed to giving the women we serve a sense of dignity, inclusion and hope as we give them the skills to thrive in work and in life.
What is a current project that your team is working on?
In 2018 we launched our first Client Ambassador Program where women who have been through our full suite of programs were given the opportunity to give back to Dress for Success by becoming representatives of the organization.
The Ambassadors received over 40 hours of training in public speaking and storytelling. They shared their stories of resilience on our blog and at over 30 fundraising, outreach and networking events this year.
What challenges have you and your team overcome?
We are the Vancouver affiliate of a worldwide organization whose goal is to empower women into the workforce by giving them professional attire, career skills and leadership training. When people hear the name Dress for Success Vancouver they think of clothing. Though providing confidence through professional attire is a huge part of what we do, our career center services and 18-month leadership program are what really enrich the Dress for Success Vancouver experience and give the women the skills they need to truly thrive in work and in life.
What has been the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced working with Dress for Success Vancouver?
In November, the 2018 Ambassadors shared their stories at a storytelling event called Bounce. It was called Bounce because each of the Ambassadors shared a story of resilience. Many people say the resilience is about ‘bouncing back’ but who wants to do that? Resilience is really about bouncing forward. It’s about moving through the tough times and learning from them. I had been working with our Ambassadors this past year and seeing them all up on the stage at The Cultch’s beautiful Historic Theatre sharing their stories from the heart was a personal and professional highlight for me. These women were all embodying the personal growth and resilience that Dress for Success Vancouver aims to give women.
How can others contribute to the organization’s work?
Dress for Success Vancouver holds a number of events each year. 2019 is our 20th Anniversary and we are looking for corporate partners to become sponsors. As a corporate partner your company can participate in employment panels and brand recognition at our events. Our 2019 Sponsorship package is available now.
Individuals who are interested in making a donation can give at sponsorawoman.org on a on-time, or a sustaining monthly basis. Individuals can also offer their time as volunteers, workshop leaders and mentors in our leadership program.
Dress for Success Vancouver is currently in need of interview appropriate outerwear for the winter season. Other items that are in high demand in our boutique are jewelry, handbags and plus size clothing.
Dress for Success Vancouver is one of the many non-profit organizations using our MarketPlace #BrokersOfGood.