Tackling inequality with outfits for job interviews

Appearance can make or break a job interview, but it also poses an extra challenge for job-hunters who don’t have access to work attire.

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Enter Dress for Success, a non-profit organisation that has dressed more than 10,000 clients, all hoping to land a job.

CEO Ursula McGeown says one of its main objectives is to help underprivileged women find an outfit for a potential job interview.

“Dress for Success Sydney supports any woman in need, we work with women to empower them to overcome their barriers to employment. We do this by providing them with a network of support,” she said.

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Budget labels and even high-end branded clothes are donated to the organisation to be passed on to women in need.

“We don’t discriminate, any woman in need we will open our doors to,” Ms McGeown said.

“Predominately our clients come to us from our referral agencies.”

It’s a service Ester Felix successfully used ahead of an interview for a security position.

“Walking out with six suits and dresses, there’s no way you’re not going to get that job for sure,” she said.

“It just boosted my confidence.”

The single mother-of-three came to Australia 12 years ago after fleeing Sudan.

“Being a social worker, for things to go down, it’s very hard to get up (again),” Ms Felix said.

“You always think that there is more people out there who need help and support than myself.”

She is currently setting up her own cleaning business and hopes to be able to employ other people who are doing it tough.

Stylist Donny Galella volunteers at the centre and runs workshops helping women understand the value of dressing well.

“We live in a visual society, so we’re going to judge based on appearance,” he said.

“If you’ve got two people going for the same job, (with the) same credentials, the person that looks the best is going to get the job.”