Dress for Success Toronto

Dress for Success Toronto

Background:

My entire career has been about clothes! after graduating from MBA, I joined Harry Rosen as a buyer. I spent more than 25 years at Harry’s learning about the business of buying and selling luxury menswear – and I loved it!

18 months ago I decided to step away from the business of menswear. I also wanted to focus on giving back in a way that I had never been able to when working full time. I met the CEO of Dress for Success Toronto (DFST). While I had heard of the organization before, I was not aware of the steps they go to help their clients. The mission statement is simple – ‘Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life’.

I became involved with the organization serving our male clients weekly who were primarily new to the country and about to go for an interview. Many clients were nervous or anxious. We worked with them to find the right outfit for them that was not only business appropriate but gave them the confidence they so needed.

Transition:

In November of last year, I was asked to join the Board of Directors for Dress for Success Toronto. I was thrilled and excited to learn more about what they do. This active board is smart and engaged and deeply committed to this cause.

I learned about the professional development programs that we run with our corporate partners to allow our clients to learn the many skills needed to function in today’s business world. From financial skills seminars to learning how to create a LinkedIn page, our clients are helped to learn and grow on their professional journey.

We continue to help thousands of women and men find the confidence they need to walk through an often unfamiliar and frightening boardroom door to put themselves into a thriving workforce. Many are new to the country. Others find themselves in circumstances that force them to find work for themselves. Whatever the cause, we are there to help them get back on their feet and face their challenges – with a great purse in their hands.

Finale:

Last week I met with the chair of our board, who will complete her term next year. She then asked me if I would take over as chair upon her term completion in January 2020. She will co-chair with me for 6 months and have me take over next June. I told her that it would be my honour to take on this role!

Dress for Success is in over 160 cities worldwide with the same mission statement for all. I could not be prouder to represent an organization that has touched me so deeply.

- Harriet

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