From the very beginning our goal has been to create pieces that focus on a feeling instead of fashion trends, designing pieces that help women of all ages and body types live as their most confident selves. In addition to creating clothes that look good, feel good and last.
Throughout the years we have found ways to actively be involved in our community and support causes that go beyond a woman's wardrobe.
This International Women’s Month, we spoke with four women we admire about their work, how women coming together changes everything for the better, and their style.
Up first is Natasha Irvine, Director of Communications for Dress for Success Vancouver, a not-for-profit that provides the tools that help women and gender diverse people excel in their career journeys and to which we proudly provide monthly in-kind donations.
Keep reading to learn about how Natasha finds inspiration in the women around her as well as herself:
Tell us a bit about your current role (or career) and how it uplifts women around you and in your industry:
Dress for Success Vancouver empowers women to achieve financial independence and personal success through full and fulfilling employment. As an organization, we aim to understand and address the many ways different people are affected by barriers and discrimination that go beyond gender…
Everyone deserves to thrive in work and in life and we exist to support that journey through building skills, community, and opposing the systems and structures that bolster inequality.
(As) Communications Director, I get to share what we do with our community and to draw in new clients, donors, and volunteers.
What achievement are you most proud of, personally or professionally?
I am far and away most proud of my daughters. They are growing up knowing that they can use their voices, that they are capable of anything they work for, and that their value is not defined by their gender.
My oldest daughter took issue with a presenter using the phrase “one giant leap for mankind,” during a lesson on the moon landing. She told them that she didn’t like that they continued to use that phrase in the presentation, and they should be more inclusive. “The astronaut said it a long time ago and didn’t know better, but we know better now, and we can do better,” she explained. I was told by an attending teacher that the presenter is considering re-writing their school script to use more inclusive language after sharing Neil Armstrong’s quote.
My daughter is 8, and she knows she can use her voice and make a difference in the world.
If you could give your 20-year-old self-one piece of career advice, what would that be?
Success is a journey, and it looks different to everyone.
There is no right way to do things or one path to take. So, don’t worry about getting it right or defining success by anyone else’s standards. Know your value, leave the people who don’t see it, and keep learning. Also, buy Apple Stock now!
What do you think women-led companies should encourage in their industries and why?
As a Communications Director, language matters a lot to me, and I find terms like “women-lead,” “female founder” or “girl boss” challenging. We would never highlight that a company was “male-led.” By isolating women, who are also leaders, are we celebrating them or are we actually encouraging bias by further highlighting their womanhood over their leadership? Whatever the answer to this question is, normalizing women in leadership is incredibly important to creating equity in the workplace.
All leaders should be crafting diverse and inclusive teams that strive to give each team member a voice and a sense of belonging.
How does style factor into your career?
I am a busy mom with two young kids. I need clothing that is simple and works for me without much fuss.
I like timeless pieces - real wardrobe cornerstones that I can dress up or down easily with different accessories.
My favorite pieces are things I could wear to the office, to the playground with the kids, and then out to dinner in the evening with friends -- AND feel equally comfortable in all of these scenarios. People sometimes laugh when I say this is what I demand from my wardrobe, but my days often do look like this, and these unicorn wardrobe pieces do exist!
Please finish the sentence: "When women work together____."
When women work together, we flip the script and magic happens.
Many of us have been fed a narrative that women need to compete with each other, but that serves no one. When women work together, support one another, and advance each other we create powerful allies and a strong network of support. We are better together.Language helps us decide the things we value in our world. We still have a way to go in fully appreciating the value women bring to our communities, society and our planet (cheesy titles notwithstanding), but Natasha’s work and her story about the small changes we’re making along the way, give us hope. For our next post, we have a chat with Olga Stevens, Sympli’s President, that takes the less is more approach to her work and her style -- a Sympli-fied way of living, if you will. Stay tuned!