Dress for Success Worldwide

Overview

Dress for Success (DFS) provides each woman with a business suit when she has a job interview. When she successfully lands the job, she returns to DFS for up to one week’s worth of business-appropriate separates. She also receives an invitation to join the Professional Women’s Group, our career development and networking group, and participates in other employment retention programs. Dress for Success serves job-ready women by referral only from more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations.

Mission

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

History

Dress for Success Worldwide, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was founded in New York City in 1997 as an answer to the needs of low-income women who are seeking employment and self-sufficiency. In the same year that Dress for Success was founded, the welfare overhaul set time restrictions for public assistance recipients, which in turn quickly forced heads of households into low wage jobs. Because of the rapid increase in the number of poor working women, they became an underserved segment of society and many lacked the skills and support to retain their employment. Dress for Success has responded to the needs of the women that we serve by providing professional attire, career development tools, and a network of support to help women succeed in work and in life.

Program

Our programs transition women towards self-sufficiency by addressing their social and economic needs in relation to work, home and community. Each woman is a success story: She has gone from unemployment to economic independence.

Suiting Program: The Suiting Program is the first of many steps in a client’s path towards self-sufficiency and the actualization of her professional goals. Through this program, we provide office-appropriate apparel to low-income women seeking employment. Not only does a professional appearance influence the final decision of a potential employer, but it also fosters confidence in the woman wearing the suit.

The Professional Women’s Group (PWG): The PWG encourages economic independence and career development by providing employed clients with a network of support, practical information, and the inspiration to achieve self-defined success in their career and life. It is the first and only employment retention model of its kind that moves low-income women towards self-sufficiency by addressing their social and economic needs in relation to work, home, and their community. Monthly seminars on career development topics, networking, career coaching, and more are offered.

The Career Center: From her first visit, clients are encouraged to use our Career Center, which promotes confidence and professionalism by providing them with career guidance, educational resources, and support in their jobs searches. Volunteers work one-on-one with clients by helping them to create superior résumés and cover letters, providing career counseling and mock interviews, and facilitating access to professional skills training courses. It gives clients a competitive edge when searching for new employment or vying for a promotion.

Impact

Over the past 12 years, Dress for Success has grown into a thriving international not-for-profit organization that has supported more than 500,000 disadvantaged women at over 94 affiliates worldwide. Our organization serves more than 30,000 each year throughout the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and the United Kingdom. Our results show that our approach works:

• 75% of PWG members remained employed after one year.
• 71% reported that they were establishing new social relationships.
• 42% reported that they received a salary increase and 20% were promoted after one year.
• 57% have furthered their education by enrolling in or completing a GED or college program.
• 68% of PWG members reported that they have definite career and personal goals that they would like to achieve.

Goals 

Our goals and objectives for Dress for Success Worldwide 2009 are:
• Serve at least 40,000 women worldwide.
• Recruit at least 1,450 new PWG members worldwide.
• Operate at least 65 PWG groups worldwide.
• Achieve a worldwide employment retention rate of at least 75% for clients who have remained involved with Dress for Success through the PWG for more than one year.
• Increase the number of clients participating in our employment retention programs to 11,500.
• Launch mentoring program with at least 20 affiliates.
• Launch Financial Literacy program with at least 20 affiliates.
• Maintain a volunteer base of at least 4,300 worldwide.
• Activate PWG members’ leadership skills by inviting them to become mentors, speakers, community action project participants, etc.
• Incorporate non-traditional workforce opportunities such as construction, IT, environment/green, etc. into our employment retention programs and services.
• Increase public awareness of Dress for Success, as well as general issues regarding the economic independence of women

CEO

Joi Gordon is the chief executive officer of Dress for Success Worldwide, Joi Gordon oversees an affiliate network that now spans 94 cities in 9 countries. She is responsible for strengthening the Dress for Success brand, implementing innovative programming and developing collaborative relationships with corporations, foundations and individuals who share the organization’s mission. Joi is committed to positioning Dress for Success as an acknowledged leader in advancing the economic and social development of women.

Among her professional activities and accomplishments, Joi serves on the corporate board of directors of Urban Brands, owner of Ashley Stewart, and America’s Charities, a non profit leader in workplace giving. She sits on several women’s advisory councils American Airlines, Office Depot and VOICE, an imprint of Hyperion Books.

Over the past several years many prominent institutions have recognized Joi for her achievements. In 2009 she was presented with the Vice Chancellor’s Award from The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies and named by Network Journal Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. In 2007 Joi received an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Office Depot, Harlem YMCA and Coalition of 100 Black Women in NYC, among other organizations, have presented Joi with community service and visionary awards to acknowledge her contributions. A February 2007 cover story in Black Enterprise magazine recognized her leadership as an example of successful social entrepreneurism. She is also a member of the Greater Queens Chapter of The Link

Joi worked as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx Criminal Court prior to joining the non-profit sector.

Board

Niki Leondakis, Chair
Dorria Ball, Vice Chair
Elena Kiam, Treasurer
Clarice Kennedy, Secretary
Frank Aquila
Bobbi Brown
Doug Checkeris
Debra Kelly Ennis
Donna Griffin
Carla Hendra
Mary Ivers
Jen McNulty
Robbin Mitchell
Kim Van Der Son

Countries 

United States, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland

States 

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Contact

32 East 31st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 532-1922
www.dressforsuccess.org
EIN: 13-4040377


Help Another Woman with a Suit

Help Another Woman with a Suit

One interview suit

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will help a woman acquire the skills she needs to develop her career. 5 sessions at a Dress for Success Career Center will provide a woman with career guidance, technology skills and support in her job search. In addition, your gift will provide her with resources that are vital to entering the workforce, such as an Internet-accessible computer lab with cutting-edge job placement...

Regular price $10.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will help a woman acquire the skills she needs to develop her career. One day at a Dress f

Empower A Woman

One Career Center day

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will help a woman acquire the skills she needs to develop her career. One day at a Dress for Success Career Center will provide a woman with career guidance, technology skills and support in her job search. In addition, your gift will provide her with resources that are vital to entering the workforce, such as an Internet-accessible computer lab with cutting-edge job placement...

Regular price $5.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will help a woman acquire the skills she needs to develop her career. 5 sessions at a Dres

Empower A Woman

5 Career Ctr. Sessions

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will help a woman acquire the skills she needs to develop her career. 5 sessions at a Dress for Success Career Center will provide a woman with career guidance, technology skills and support in her job search. In addition, your gift will provide her with resources that are vital to entering the workforce, such as an Internet-accessible computer lab with cutting-edge job placement...

Regular price $25.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will sponsor a woman for one year so that she can participate in the full range of Dress f

Encourage A Woman

Sponsor one woman

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will sponsor a woman for one year so that she can participate in the full range of Dress for Success programs including Suiting, Career Center, Professional Women’s Group, Women 2 Women Mentoring and more. This will provide her with the necessary tools to gain employment, retain employment and become self-sufficient.

Regular price $500.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will fund 2 Professional Women’s Groups of 10 women each for an entire year. Membership in

Support 20 Women

Support 2 PWG's

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will fund 2 Professional Women’s Groups of 10 women each for an entire year. Membership includes 12 career development and networking meetings, two graduation ceremonies, and additional access to information on financial literacy, work/life balance, workplace communication and more. Professional Women’s Group provides a safe environment where women can learn how to network, develop their professional skills and advance in their careers.

Regular price $3,000.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Your gift will enable one woman to participate in the Professional Women’s Group for one year.  Memb

Support A Woman

1 year in the PWG

Dress for Success Worldwide

Your gift will enable one woman to participate in the Professional Women’s Group for one year. Membership includes 12 career development and networking meetings and additional access to information on financial literacy, work/life balance, workplace communication and more. Professional Women’s Group provides a safe environment where women can learn how to network, develop their professional skills and advance in their careers.

Regular price $150.00