In 2021 the MWF membership awarded the $75,000 Signature Grant to Fitted for Work to support their innovative and holistic Women’s Economic Empowerment Program.
The grant funded 300 women, experiencing multiple and/or complex barriers to employment, to participate in a wide range of workshops developing work-ready skills and provided access to mentoring and employment opportunities through She Works, Fitted for Work’s recruitment social enterprise.
Participants reported an increase in self-confidence, job interview readiness, and awareness of employment/further training paths open to them.
“Thank you very much for your support, it was indeed very valuable. It was nice to see the same people every time and learn and share thoughts and experiences. I’m grateful for the whole Fitted for work team, helping women through their journey to work.”
Delivered through a hybrid of face-to-face and online workshops participants accessed:
- digital upskilling workshops with Microsoft, including paid on-the-job training to equip participants with skills for in-demand roles
- resume and job application writing, creating a LinkedIn profile, tips and practical job searching and interview skills
- outfitting appointments giving advice, clothes and accessories to put together a professional wardrobe
- industry employment sessions that provided insight into job opportunities across six different sectors: transport, retail, IT, government, administration and the construction sector.
“This experience affirmed who I am as a person and that I am not defined by my circumstances or the labels that society may select to describe me.
“Its powerful because of the care and professional staff, the quality of the clothing and accessories and breathes the spirit of sisterhood, living the strength of women supporting each other.”
Key learnings from the program
- Participants required extra encouragement and support to apply for roles advertised, even when they had the job skills and were interviewing well
- The program affirmed the research that women typically only apply for roles where they have 100% of what is required. The program found that participants were more likely to apply for roles that provided limited information in job advertisements.
About the participants in the Women’s Economic Empowerment Program
This program assisted women aged 16-65, living in Melbourne who were experiencing multiple and/or complex barriers to employment, the participants included:
- Mature-aged women (55+)
- Survivors of domestic violence – Fitted for Work has long received referrals from domestic violence support services. Recent years have seen a rise in awareness of the crisis, yet intimate partner violence remains the third greatest health risk factor for women and COVID has increased their experience of violence
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women
- Women exiting correctional facilities
- Single mothers
- Young women (16-22)
- Women with a disability
- Women experiencing homelessness
- Transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people
Support Fitted for Work
Tags: Economic empowerment, Fitted for work, Grants, Impact, Women