When I was preparing to interview for my first office job, I came to a startling realization: I had absolutely nothing to wear. I was a college student at UC Santa Cruz and buying work clothes hadn’t been a priority. What does someone even wear in an office?
I went down to the store without knowing where to start and tried a few things on, but they were uncomfortable and I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, my Mom is a pro at this. She was a CFO then, so she was familiar with this stuff. She lent me a few outfits and everything worked out. I got the job that launched my lucrative career in Tech.
However, I know most people, aren’t so lucky. And, especially for women, finding clothes that we feel confident in and that are “acceptable” in the business culture is tough. Finding that balance is an ongoing challenge.
Dress for Success is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women. One of the initiatives they run is to help women find outfits for job interviews so they can achieve economic independence.
In honor of this fantastic organization, we have a few things planned for International Women’s Day on March 8th — and we’d love for you and your company to join us!
We are already so honored to have the amazing folks at Marketo, Bizzabo, Chorus.ai, LeanData, Wrike, DocuSign, DiscoverOrg and #GirlsClub participating alongside us. If you’re interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and a starter kit we’ve put together to help you with the heavy lifting.
Ok, onto the activities!
The #DressForSuccess Challenge
We’re encouraging all of the Clari family to participate in the #DressForSuccess challenge, a friendly competition we created to increase awareness for the non-profit organization. Here’s how it works:
- Between March 4-8, employees will take a picture of their favorite pair of shoes they wear to work and post it on LinkedIn.
- They’ll use the hashtags #DressForSuccess #IWD (International Women’s Day) & #Clari (ask your employees to use your own company name).
- They’ll include a short story about why this is their favorite pair of shoes to wear to work. Are they your lucky shoes? Do they boost your brainpower? Or are they just super comfy?
- The person whose picture receives the most ‘Likes’ on LinkedIn will win a gift card to Zappos.
Why are we doing this? We all wear shoes every day, so it’s an easy way for everyone to get involved, share their stories and help spread the word about Dress for Success through social media. Plus, we like to think that as our fellow Clarians have shoes on their mind, they’ll stop and think about what it would be like to walk in someone else’s shoes for a day.
Encourage your company to participate in your own challenge, using the same rules and hashtags.
Set up a donation station
For a more tangible contribution, we’ll be setting up space in our office where Clarians can donate new or used work clothes. We’ll be running the donation space from March 4th through March 8th. Women’s clothes donations will go to our local chapter for Dress for Success and men’s clothes will go to Sacred Heart, another non-profit organization in our area.
Designate an area of your office where team members can donate their clothes for a cause. Encourage them to think about what they would wear to a job interview — your fabulous suits, dresses, shoes and other professional apparel that could give someone else the confidence to enter or return to the workplace, make a great first impression and land a job that could change their life.
Host an event on International Women’s Day
To celebrate the actual day, Clari will be hosting a lunch power hour where Clarians share their best interviewer questions and interviewee answers. We’ll be encouraging everyone to wear their favorite interview clothes — or even the outfit they wore when they interviewed here at Clari. We’ll also have a raffle for everyone who donated clothes or money.
Host your own lunch power hour on March 8th, or come up with another activity colleagues can get excited about and have fun with.
Give someone an ‘aha’ moment
This is supposed to be a fun activity that gets everyone in the company involved and thinking about some of these issues affecting people every day. I hope that through these initiatives, someone gets a great outfit and we can raise some awareness for Dress for Success. On a bigger level, I hope it causes an ‘aha’ moment for some people. I want people to think, “Oh, I didn’t even realize that was an issue” and feel empowered to do something about it.
We’re all in position to drive change within our companies and beyond. I hope you’ll all join me in this opportunity to do so! Email me at email@example.com for more information or to use our starter kit templates.