Despite living in the so-called “lucky country”, life isn’t always easy for many women across Australia.
Research from Our Watch shows over 50,000 women experience homelessness every year in Australia. One in three women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 and one in five will experience depression in their lifetime.
For women living at-risk - whether that be because they are new to the country and feeling isolated from their community, struggling to find secure housing, escaping domestic violence, or experiencing depression or anxiety - lack of empowerment in their own lives can weigh heavily on their confidence.
The concept of supporting women to find permanent employment and improve their financial wellness is what led myself and Rita Bottomley to create Go Girls Foundation in 2008.
Combining my corporate background as a management consultant and leadership facilitator with Rita’s career in psychology and counselling meant we were able to tackle both factors which lead to long-term unemployment for women and also the psychological impacts that may contribute to their circumstances.
Today, our five-month Work Ready program assists women from all walks of life to break the cycle of whatever situations may be holding them back from taking control of their life.
Unlike a traditional employment course, the Go Girls Work Ready program develops practical job skills while also placing an emphasis on positive psychology. We don’t simply give the women in our program jobs. We work with them to determine what their dream job may be but also what a realistic job might be for them to start tomorrow and begin their journey to financial wellness. At the same time, we offer ongoing support from psychologists and facilitators to unravel some of the trauma which may be holding these women back from reaching their true potential.
At the end of the program, 50 per cent of the women secure sustainable full-time employment, 20 per cent find part-time or casual employment and another 20 per cent enroll in a course of study to work towards their dream job.