Walk In Closet
Making Changes is a community of women helping women through life transitions, promoting leadership, belonging and confidence and building skills which encourage participants and volunteers to contribute to the community socially and financially. Empowerment, our core value, is embedded within the values and principles of our programs. We fulfill our goal of empowering immigrant women and girls by providing focused programs to enable them to enter the workforce or education and become self-sufficient.
Clothing has emerged in literature as a vital and necessary resource in the ability of low-income women in securing and maintaining employment. Studies show that choice of attire and appearance has a marked impact on the impressions others make of women in the workplace and in hiring decisions. In fact, even subtle or minor clothing choices can strongly influence first impressions regarding evaluation of the wearer's level of flexibility, confidence, success, and salary level. People present themselves more confidently and positively when they are well-dressed as opposed to when they are poorly dressed.
Our program, The Walk In Closet, provides women with 1-2-1 appointments to receive no-cost consultations and professional business/work attire to support them to obtain or maintain employment, return to school or engage in volunteer opportunities. Participants are offered gently used quality, fashionable clothing and accessories to look and feel their best, and an orientation on appropriate attire for job interviews and the workplace. At the end of the appointment they receive 4-5 outstanding outfits suitable for work. Each appointment is 90 minutes and is delivered by Volunteer Image Consultants from the community who share their own knowledge and experience on professional dress and assist in selecting clothing and accessories participants will feel confident in along with a selection of personal care items.
For those clients who are new to Canada, immigrant or refugees, each appointment provides not only appropriate attire for the Canadian labor market but also valuable information on workplace expectations and Canadian workplace culture, to support the women in feeling confident to apply for job opportunities and begin contributing their skills and knowledge to the workforce.
Who Will it Benefit?
Those who will benefit from this program are women who are unemployed or in the bracket of low income, to gain employment and become contributing members of society, financially stable and support themselves and/or their families.
Employers will benefit by hiring qualified candidates who, at their interview, will be more confident and empowered allowing them to highlight their skills rather than worrying about being judged on appearance and therefore recruit them for their skills that may have not been apparent. These candidates will also be knowledgeable in the area of Canadian workplace expectations.
The clients work directly with our over 150 volunteer Image Consultants and they benefit to these volunteers is their ability to not only give back but also to impart their valuable skills that they have attained as women in the workforce with each client they serve. This give each volunteer a feeling of supporting women to gain confidence, feel valuable and assist them towards a successful future.