Low-income women get leg up in job hunt with help of nonprofit

Oklahoma City’s Suited for Success is a nonprofit organization that provides free professional clothing ” all donated ” and career development services to low-income women who are preparing to join the workforce.

“We have seven seconds to make a good first impression, and I think that many job interviewers make up their mind right away, before you even have a chance to speak, if you fit their corporate image,” said Susan Walton, the organization’s founder and executive director.

Clients range from 18 to 65 years old and 95 percent of them are single mothers, many of whom have been abused.

“Unfortunately, we have a very high divorce rate in Oklahoma, and single mothers are the new poor in our country.” Walton said. “We think that our program has helped a lot of women get a good job, raise their self-esteem, care for their families in the way they want to and be good examples for their children.”

Before she started the program, Walton herself was a single mother, trying to hold down a job in the banking industry, where she says even the entry-level employees are expected to dress very professionally.

“I know how know important the right attire is for success,” she said. “Lauren Parajon

Lauren Parajon

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