Celebrating International Women’s Day – Angela Smith, CEO of Dress for Success Dublin

Celebrating International Women’s Day
Angela Smith, CEO of Dress for Success Dublin

This year marks the seventh of our annual International Women’s Day campaigns. These campaigns, like Dress for Success Dublin as a whole,  have grown hugely in those years! 

As an organisation supporting women across Ireland to (re)enter the workforce, supporting their economic independence and campaigning at all levels of business and politics for women’s equality in the workplace, International Women’s Day has always been an important date in our calendar.

Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Award

This International Women’s Day feels particularly special. Last year saw a number of significant developments and achievements for our charity, not least winning one of six Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Awards. The support thus far from Social Innovation Fund Ireland has already proved to have a huge impact on our ability to provide our services to a growing number of women across the country. In 2019, we marked a significant milestone, supporting more women than any year previously and bringing our total number of clients supported to 3,000. 

That’s 3,000 women suited and coached for interviews and careers, mentored and provided with the confidence they require to succeed. 

The support that keeps us going

So, in light of that, we’re marking International Women’s Day by celebrating our clients, the women in our organisation and the women (and men!) across the organisations who support us. Each year sees an ever-greater number of companies and groups choosing to run clothing drives, fundraisers and awareness-raising events in support of our work for International Women’s Day. 

The funds and clothing donated through the campaign support our vital work right through the year. So, to those organisations, as well as to to the women in Dress for Success and to Social Innovation Fund Ireland– thank you! Thank you for your role in helping us to support women around the country to discover and reach their potential.”

Dress for Success Dublin was founded by Sonya Lennon in 2011. Based on an international model, their founding principle in Ireland was to promote the economic independence of women, by delivering a pincer movement: supporting individual women to enter the workforce with confidence, while initiating a national discussion on barriers to economic equality for women. The services on offer include their suiting service, work wardrobe, career advice service and their developmental programmes including mentoring, returnships and financial education. Since opening their doors, they have reached 2700 individual women. 

Dress for Success Dublin is one of six Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Fund Awardees.

The Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Fund is a €1.8 Million Fund over three years created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland in partnership with Bank of America and the Department of Rural and Community Development. The Department of Rural and Community Development provides match funding for all philanthropic funds raised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland, via the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Mná na hÉireann, Women of Ireland Fund is the first fund in Ireland to support charities and social enterprises that seek to enhance the economic mobility of women and is designed specifically to equip these organisations to expand their business acumen, drive growth and deepen their impact across Ireland. Over the next three years, the Fund aims to empower 1,000 women to secure employment, enhancing the economic mobility of women across Ireland.

Visit www.socialinnovation.ie/mna-na-heireann-women-of-ireland-fund/ for more information on the fund and each Awardee.