WorkEqual launches campaign to improve workplace gender equality

Dress for Success Dublin today (28.10.21) rebranded as WorkEqual to support women looking for work and those looking to progress in their careers. 

Commenting today, WorkEqual CEO Angela Smith, said: “Dress for Success has made a huge difference to thousands of women over the past decade.  The focus has been to equip women to enter or return to the workforce.  WorkEqual will bolster this work with significantly enhanced initiatives aimed at helping women reach their full potential.  

“Over the past decade, we have developed into a national organisation with over 40 expert volunteers, providing a range of services for women seeking employment. We are proud to have supported more than 3,000 women in total, 60% of whom have gone on to secure a job or return to education.

“Under our new brand, WorkEqual, we will bolster this work with mentoring initiatives, bespoke training programmes, and one to one coaching. We’re also very excited to now advocate for women generally within the employment sphere at national level. We have the expertise on the ground to advise policy-makers on how we can ensure men and women are equally valued in employment.”

WorkEqual will continue to provide all its existing services, including confidence coaching, interview and CV preparation, mentoring and styling services. The rebrand of the charity is taking place to reflect the expanding range of employment services for women across Ireland, who are seeking to enter or re-enter the workplace.

Annual Awareness Campaign on Gender Equality in the Workplace

Today, WorkEqual also launched its annual awareness-raising campaign on gender equality in the workplace. The campaign has run each year since 2016 and is sponsored by SOLAS, the further education and training authority, and Permanent TSB.

This year, the campaign will focus on childcare and how family caring duties impact on workplace gender equality.

The month-long campaign officially begins on Monday, 1st November, and will include a number of key events and actions taking place across the month. Events will include a special meeting of the WorkEqual All-Party Oireachtas Group on Equal Pay Day on Monday, 8th November – the day on which women in Ireland effectively stop earning, relative to men, because of the gender pay gap. A flagship seminar will take place on Thursday, 25th November, featuring international guest speakers, showcasing best practice in public childcare provision. There will also be a panel discussion on the challenges and solutions from an Irish perspective, with panellists including:

  • The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD;
  • Frances Byrne, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Early Childhood Ireland;
  • Mark Paul, Business Affairs Correspondent with The Irish Times; and
  • Sonya Lennon, founder of WorkEqual.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Angela Smith continued: “This year, our annual campaign will explore how to reform the provision of childcare in Ireland, where we have one of the highest costs for parents in the EU. Our campaign will be furthering the conversation about the practical steps we can take at national and local levels for policy and legislative change, as well as the ways that individual employers can shape their workplaces to facilitate greater participation and progression for women.

“We look forward to learning from international experts and pushing the conversation in Ireland forward.”


Notes to editors:

About WorkEqual

WorkEqual began life as Dress for Success Dublin, which was founded in 2011 by fashion designer, stylist, TV presenter and social entrepreneur Sonya Lennon to provide professional workplace styling and career consulting and services to women in the Dublin region. Since then, it has evolved into a national organisation, providing services to women across Ireland and partnering with relevant networks, agencies and employers nationwide, along with having grown into a team of approximately 40 highly skilled volunteers. These partnerships, together with public donations and fundraising initiatives, support the organisation’s delivery of services to thousands of women across the country.

Advocating for workplace equality and fair remuneration is an integral and urgent part of the charity’s work today. It engages with Government and elected representatives at local, national and EU level, as well as policymakers, employers and civil society leaders to shape legislation, public policy, employment policy and societal attitudes to achieve gender parity in the workplace.

The new WorkEqual website and social media channels are: