Dress for Success has been serving women in the Houston area for nearly 20 years and has served 36,800 women in the Greater Houston Area, keeping Houston women looking and feeling sharp in their quest for employment.
The center offers job preparation with style. Women who need support and training during the job search can turn to this compassionate, women led organization during their job search.
Trainings are led by 450 women volunteers, who provide advice on resume building, finances, and job searching. During job support, women can convene and share weekly goals on their search for success. Not only do they share information, but they also provide suiting appointments to allow women to shine during interviews, giving them confidence in interview settings.
While attending a recent session with eight bright and intelligent women of Texas from varying backgrounds, the meeting felt more like a sisterhood where women shared resources, goals, progress, and frustrations during the job search.
A common theme expressed among women job searchers seems to be the age gap issue. Many women in the group expressed the concern that due to their age, they aren’t taken seriously or that their valuable experience keeps them from gaining much needed employment. These women were researchers, insurance agents, and former military and security workers, all seasoned in their field.
An article published by Harvard Business Report confirmed that these feelings are not imagined. The article conducted a study demonstrating that older women are phased out of the workplace. According to the study, 1 in 3 women in America will be 50 or older by 2030. These women have valuable experience to share. If women are indeed encouraged to support other women, one possible solution could include mentor based employment that would allow younger employees to gain wisdom from their seasoned peers.
Conversely, Sally Koslow of the New York Times recently reported that there is value in hiring someone “mom’s age”. The fact that women are referred to with such a minimizing label is further proof that something is amiss in the hiring practice for women. There is a lot of strength in motherhood but, there are few headlines encouraging businesses to go out and hire dad.
Older males are often valued for their experience, paid more and hired without a second thought. Koslow’s article confirmed that women often make only 80% of what men make. Even more disturbing, the article reported that more than half of long term unemployed people are women. For that statistic, we may as well still be sending the elderly to sail off into the sunset on an igloo. As for Koslow, she devised a plan to continue working and living all the days of her life.
Other topics explored during the group strayed from the normal networking strategies and elevator speeches to the existential questioning of how to fit in at a networker of a different faith. What are we doing here? What is our higher purpose than just entering the labor force?
As a guiding force in the labor search for women, Dress for Success will continue to provide a place for women to support each other as they seek to land empowering careers .