SPRINGFIELD — The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) and Dress for Success Western Massachusetts have partnered to provide networking and career-advancement opportunities to local women working to establish careers.
This partnership is timely, as women have been disproportionately impacted by job loss related to COVID-19. According to the National Women’s Law Center, female workforce participation has dropped 57%, to its lowest level since 1988. McKinsey and Oxford Economics projects that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 — a full two years after a projected recovery for men.
Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, whose mission is to help women achieve financial independence, has been working to address this reality. Its Professional Women’s Group, with the support of Eversource, launched immediately before the pandemic in early 2020, was intended to support women who have attained employment with continuing education, career-development programs, and leadership training.
While remaining true to its intent, the program has also come to support women who have lost their employment due to the pandemic and are struggling to juggle the demands of work, loss of childcare, virtual schooling, and other COVID-specific challenges. The program is focused on keeping the determined participants not just afloat, but moving forward in spite of these challenges.
YPS, a community-minded organization that focuses on business and career development, networking, and community involvement, will provide the Professional Women’s Group with complimentary YPS memberships, which will enhance access to each of these focus areas to provide new and expanded career opportunities.
“YPS is thrilled to partner with Dress for Success,” said Amie Miarecki, YPS president. “It’s a natural fit because we are focused on career development and creating connections, especially during this time when we are all seeking new ways to network. We welcome these new members and want them to take advantage of our unique events.”
Margaret Tantillo, executive director of Dress for Success, agrees that this is a natural partnership. “Giving our participants access to the expanded opportunities and new networks that YPS provides just makes sense. It’s a perfect next step for women who are looking to develop or redevelop their career. YPS membership will open doors, foster relationships, and expand upon what the Professional Women’s Group can offer in a seamless way. We’re grateful for their support.”