Dublin women participating in labour market activation programmes will avail of mentoring under a new partnership between Dress for Success Dublin and leading law firm A&L Goodbody. Under the partnership, women taking part in labour market activation programmes – such as JobBridge, Community Employment schemes and Tús – will avail of mentoring and career progression advice from experienced A&L Goodbody employees through a new initiative called Steps to Success.
In addition to being paired with mentors, participants will attend monthly workshops on career development topics, and be provided with networking opportunities and peer support.
Labour market activation schemes provide an important first step for women entering or re-entering the workforce after a period of unemployment. However Dress for Success Dublin noticed that sometimes women end up back on the live register after completing such schemes. Fifteen women are participating in the pilot phase of ‘Steps to Success’, ranging in age from 26 to 62. While they have attended workshops at Dress for Success Dublin over the past six months, the partnership with A&L Goodbody means they will now participate in regular mentoring sessions as well.
Each participant has been paired with an A&L Goodbody mentor, who will provide advice and act as a sounding board, drawing on what they’ve learned from their own careers. The mentors will commit to the programme for a minimum period of one year, and will set aside at least two hours per month for one-to-one meetings with the woman they’re mentoring. They will also participate in ongoing training sessions throughout the year.
Commenting at an event where the participants met their mentors for the first time, A&L Goodbody Partner Marie O’Brien said: “Over the course of my own career, I have benefitted hugely from advice and support from many people including senior female colleagues. In my current role, I have mentored associates to partnership level and really enjoyed the process. Women who have been out of the workforce for a period of time can face various challenges when they decide to return to work. Mentoring can play an important role in helping them to address their concerns, build up their confidence and set future goals.”