Style Fashion

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Female politicians mean business with dress appeal

Joyce Fegan

Published 17/04/2014 | 02:30

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Cait Keane, Imelda Henry, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Kathryn Reilly, Frances Fitzgerald, Sonya Lennon, Averil Power, Jillian van Turnhout, Sandra McLellan and Helen McEntee outside the Dail. Photo: Tom Burke

Female TDs and senators will open up their wardrobes and donate the contents for a good cause.

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The fashion clearout aims to help women get back to work, with Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor organising a month-long clothing drop.

It is part of fashion designer Sonya Lennon's initiative Dress for Success, which helps women re-entering the workforce dress and prepare for interviews.

The Fine Gael TD began a large clothing collection looking for professional garments.

"If you have been out of work due to the recession, or child rearing, or a whole range of other reasons, it can be very daunting to take your first steps back into the workplace. Dress for Success helps women make that jump by providing practical help and support," said Ms Mitchell O'Connor.

She also emphasised the importance of female representation in the workplace, saying Ireland is behind other countries in terms of the number of women in positions of power.

"Ireland is falling behind the international curve when it comes to female representation on boards, for example, which isn't just bad for women, it's bad for business," she explained.

Dress for Success is part of an international network with 133 affiliates worldwide. Ms Lennon set up the Irish branch more than two years ago.

She echoed Ms Mitchell O'Connor's comments on the need for more women in the workplace saying, "we need to support women in the workplace at every level – from entry, all the way to leadership positions".

The organisation provides women with career advice, interview tips and professional clothing for the day of their interview.

Irish Independent

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