Michael Scott was born and raised in Vancouver. Since graduating UBC in 2007 he has been working in RBC’s investment banking group. Michael has been involved with Dress for Success since early 2016 when he joined the IMPACT organizing committee and later that year he became a board member – a role that he continues to enjoy. Recently we asked Michael a few questions about his involvement with Dress for Success Vancouver, what his hopes are for the organization and why he believes in the work we do.
How did you get involved with Dress for Success?
I have been familiar with Dress for Success for some time – particularly its dressing services. My initial involvement with Dress for Success Vancouver was in early 2016 when I joined the organizing committee of Dress for Success Vancouver’s flagship fundraising event, IMPACT360. The positive experience of being involved in the execution of that event fuelled my passion for the organization and caused me to pursue a role on the board.
Do you have a personal reason for supporting Dress for Success?
When I was a teenager, my mom decided she was going to re-enter the workforce as a teaching assistant after spending the better part of two decades raising my two sisters and I. She completed training and eventually was successful in landing a great position for which she was extremely excited – more excited than I had ever seen her. I saw firsthand the positive impact that my mom re-entering the workforce had on us as a family, and to her happiness as a person. I feel privileged to be part of an organization that aims to create that same positivity and excitement in families every day.
How do you support Dress for Success?
My role as a Board Director sees me involved in oversight and determining the strategic direction of the organization locally – this includes weighing in on how we can more effectively serve our clients in our community, how we can advance our fundraising efforts, as well as broader goals like where we aim to be five or ten years down the road. I also act as Secretary for the board, which involves various administrative tasks at the board level.
Of all the worthy causes to support, why us?
During my involvement on the IMPACT360 committee and more recently on the board, I have been so impressed by the ability of Dress for Success Vancouver to make such a dramatic impact in the community, and more specifically on the lives of women looking to make progress in their careers, particularly on a limited budget and thanks principally due to the efforts of such a dedicated group of volunteers and staff. The services that Dress for Success Vancouver provides its clients aids not only in their empowerment in the workforce, but also has consequent tangible impacts on their families and gives them the confidence to be leaders in their communities. Dress for Success Vancouver’s mission is simple, but the impacts of the services the organization provides above and beyond just employment are really what makes the organization so special.
Why is the work that Dress for Success does important?
Women often face a unique set of challenges in entering, re-entering, or advancing in the workplace. Dress for Success Vancouver provides a comprehensive toolkit for women to break down some of these barriers and achieve their career goals. The work we do is so important because of the depth and breadth of impact providing these tools can have, not only to our clients, but to their employers, their families, and their communities!
What do you bring to the organization as a board member?
I have a finance background, so part of my role at the board level is to provide financial input and oversight with respect to things like budgeting and financial controls. I also have a network of contacts in industries in Vancouver in which Dress for Success Vancouver is not as well known – part of my role is broadcasting Dress for Success Vancouver’s message amongst my network to raise awareness of what we do in the community and how our efforts can be supported.
What are your hopes for Dress for Success Vancouver?
It is a strategic goal of ours to continue to expand the range of services we are able to provide. Our focus on career centre programs over recent years will continue, and I hope that these programs increasingly become go-to tools for women to continue to advance their careers months and years after they enter or re-enter the workforce with the help of Dress for Success Vancouver. I hope that over time we are also able to expand our awareness and footprint in the Vancouver philanthropic community, consequently allowing us to serve more women in the community in every way we can.
Is there anything else you would like to say about Dress for Success Vancouver?
Dress for Success Vancouver wouldn’t exist without the generous contributions of its donors and the tireless efforts of its amazing volunteers. I am extremely grateful for all the support the organization receives from so many generous individuals and companies across the Lower Mainland. The positive impact our supporters have on the lives of our clients and their communities is incredible, and I am so grateful to be a part of it!